The Day God Waged War

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I’ve got a bit of a love-hate relationship with Christmas, or at least a lot of the trappings surrounding it. The struggle to create a “perfect” Christmas, the whole Christmas-karma nonsense… But one of the things I desperately struggle with is our lack of understanding of what Christmas is really all about.

Christmas—the incarnation—is a declaration of war.

And yet, more often than not, we shy away from this understanding, don’t we? We joyfully embrace what happened that day and all the details of the story—

The Son born of a virgin, the shepherds attending Him, the angels singing, all of it.

But we forget to talk about why. Why did Jesus come to be Emmanuel—”God with us”? Why was it necessary for Him to come at all?

And, of course, we know the answer. We know why Jesus came. We know the baby didn’t stay a baby, but became a man who would die in our place, perfectly satisfying the wages of sin. We know the Easter story… and yet we don’t seem to connect the it to our Christmas celebrations.

We need to connect the dots. We need to remember, as some have said, that Jesus was born in the shadow of the cross. To see, as Simeon did, who this baby truly was and rejoice as he did:

Lord, now you are letting your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation that you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people Israel. (Luke 2:29-32)

Simeon doesn’t rejoice simply because he’s seen the baby Jesus—he rejoices because he’s seen God’s salvation. He’s held Him in his hands. That’s pretty incredible, isn’t it?

Can you imagine what our Christmas celebrations would look like if we had that same sense of awe?

This year, remember Christmas not just as “Jesus’ birthday” as some of us tell our kids, but as the day God waged war on sin and death. For when we do, it changes the celebration. It doesn’t remove the joy or the excitement. It doesn’t turn what should be thrilling into a funeral procession. If anything, remembering this only deepens our excitement.

For Christmas is the day God waged war—and it’s a war He wins.

This post by Aaron Armstrong originally appeared on his blog Blogging Theologically. Aaron has graciously granted us permission to repost it here.

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  • Steve

    You are not alone….I’m a newbie and totally excited about my relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I find myself still behaving like a hypocrite but recognize it and ask for help and forgiveness. Thank God for allowing me to live for this long without Him….Merry Christmas

    • cowboyjamusa

      Steve , you will never be forsaken .His thoughts of you are more than the sand of the sea and they are thoughts of good and not grievous. There is a friend that sticks closer than a brother and he has sealed you with his love .Treat him like a friend from your heart . A hypocrite is an actor ..your not acting ,your learning. Look up bro your redemption is drawing close!

  • Elizabeth

    Feeling blessed

  • Bob Demyanovich

    Isa 53:1, Who hath believed our report? And to whom is the arm of the Lord revealed?
    The Gospel reports that God has come into this world to redeem and save all those who believe His Word. Those who have faith in, who believe Jesus know the arm of the Lord. Jhn 6:47, Hbr 1:3, Rev 11:15-19

    • http://www.blueletterbible.org Sandra Lea Barr

      Thank you for the insight and sense of awe celebrating Christ. So shall it be this season :-).

      In referencing the title, etc., I question using “The Day…” because God has declared war since the fall of angels and disobedience of human kind ever since Adam and Eve. Just a thought.

      The reminding of Simeon taking Jesus in his arms and realizing that He is our salvation in the flesh is the new found awareness I needed, thank you.

      • jim

        Sandra Lea Barr I agree,

        Armstrong,

        Yes He focused and confessed what the need was at that time, now didn’t he? Ya that is incredible. This is a good reminder, anytime, Christmas time, Birthdays, family gatherings, friends parting together, Brothers and sisters that are fellow shipping together.

        What’s the need? What do you say? How do you say it?

        Mary and Joseph needed to here those words just as we needed to read and hear them. Armstrong you say WHY?

        Well, what’s God’s Will at that time? Those Words, now look at your words everyday and especially together with family. What comes out of our mouth, will meet the need and God’s Will IF WE allow it. Signs, and wonders will happen as well.

        God Bless, Happy HO, HO,

  • Jerry S.

    Linus (w)raps things up well with Vince G. to all the Charlie Browns of the world.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DKk9rv2hUfA

    J.

    P.s. how did Simeon and Anna know how to recognize Salvation all before hearing the Gospel message given or lead by the Holy Spirit before Acts 2? – “sore afraid”… funny.

    • Jerry S.

      Jhn 5:46-47 HNV, the entire WOG…

      J.