This year during christmas I was yet again surrounded by the annual rush to get presents for everyone, the holiday signs, shows, and songs about what Christmas is really about (none of them had the right answer save for a few on the christian stations and even those were a little suspect) and of course the fiercely cheerful attitudes of consumers and customers, as if they're attitude was that of, be hapy and friendly no matter how badly you want to scream and kick because you weren't first in line.
It was a very productive two weeks indeed, and I had a great time with my family this weekend, despite all of that. But I had some thoughts about all that, some spurred on even by my own church, White Water Christian. They did a splendid service with all the children telling the story of when Jesus was born, in between some classic old songs accompanied by my girlfriend's beautiful voice and my own hopefully equally beautiful piano. It was followed up then by our Pastor reiterating what Christmas is all about.
So here's my problem. We know what christmas is about. We've had every church tell us the same thing year after year, every year our whole lives. What are we doing about it? I think it's great and necessary to lay the foundation of Christ coming to earth as a man, and what that means for us, but I feel it misses the point to only do that. Christ's coming to earth was a joyful and tremendous occasion, but it was also a no holds barred, extreme move made by a lover, desperate to regain the heart of His bride.
We were caught in the middle of an all out war between God and Satan, each fighting to win the heart of God's bride, the church, a passion play on which both sides are desperately trying to woo us and win us over. Satan, insane with jealousy over God's creations and His love with them because he is incapable of love, tries to lure us and seduce us, but in the end his love is a lie, a trick, and he would ravage us and leave us to die. But God offers us true devotion and affection, a love the enemy could not possibly understand let alone give. Somehow, we had gone astray, the enemy's power of seduction are astounding and his traps had lured us slowly but surely away from our Maker, and God could no longer sit by and watch his bride be lured to her death, so He stepped in. In a colossal, powerful moment, He threw himself behind enemy lines, into our world, and gave his life to this beast that had taken us away from Him to free us. But little did that beast know how powerful sacrifice is, and how much meaning there is in blood. Life-giving blood of Immanuel, God in the flesh. He poured himself out for us, and only for us, and in doing so he won us over, he pulled us out of the grip of evil.
Christmas is about more than a little baby who was born in an obscure place, in a quiet little town. Christmas was the beginning of the end, the final decisive blow to the heart of evil, forever changing our lives. Christmas was an act of war, a spy behind enemy lines at just the right place, and just the rigt time. Christmas was our passionate, desperate lover, Christ, throwing himself to the wolves so we could go free.
Because that's what love does.