It was not a silent night, there was blood on the ground...
The beginning to Andrew Peterson's ballad, Labor of Love aren't the typical jovial Christmas lyrics we're so used to hearing this season. More the norm in coffee shops and stores are songs of sleigh rides, decking the halls, and having a holly, jolly Christmas.
The Christmas holiday is filled with warm memories, lighted nativities, family traditions, and good cheer. We focus on a chubby little baby; laid in a manger. The sweet smelling hay and the young mother with an angelic look on her face. I had someone recently tell me that although we think of Christmas as being all merriment and cheer, that wasn't God's design at all.
The first Christmas was a declaration of war. It was God coming into the world to change everything.
He came to declare war on suffering, sin, and sadness. The chubby baby in a manger would later calm storms with just a word. The mother with an angelic look on her face would someday watch her son hang on a tree like a criminal.
Christmas acts to magnify everything in our lives. It highlights our joy and our pain. Our celebrations and our heartaches. Togetherness and loneliness. I have to be honest. This year I'm banking on the fact that Christ came into the world to change everything. There will be no sentimentality in our home this year; there is little room for it.
But there will be advent to celebrate.
Living in the tension of a God that lived in skin and walked on this Earth. Who came to start the war on death and brokenness. And that someday, he will come again. To make all the sad things untrue and fix the heartache.
And to ultimately save and redeem everything.
This is what makes Christmas something to celebrate. Not a sentiment to write on a Christmas card, but a reality that we can put all of our faith in a Savior who came and a conqueror who will come again.
This is the real good news of Christmas. For all of us.