Read Matthew 2
Focus on verse 13-15
(Special Boxing Day Edition)
The plot of the movie Independence Day revolves around a massive alien invasion of planet earth, which results in the entire globe joining forces to attempt to repel the invasion. In the case of the movie the humans are successful in repulsing the alien invasion and all is well once again for planet earth – well – at least for those who managed to survive.
The Christmas story is rarely presented as a story of an invasion, however, it is the point in human history at which heaven invades earth, and for those who take the time to do a little digging, we find a life and death struggle for control of the earth going on in the background.
Each Christmas we sing of that silent night, holy night, when all was calm and all was bright… and we envision Mary and Joseph gazing in quiet amazement upon a newborn sleeping peacefully in a feed trough. A few shepherds quietly sneak in to take a peek at the baby without disturbing the other animals in the stable, and all the while a gloriously bright star – or is it an angel, hovering above the stable, illuminating the scene in a peacefully holy light.
What we would rather not see is a great red dragon described in Revelation 12, thrashing about, waiting to devour the child that was about to be born. As God invades earth with His presence in the form of Jesus Christ, that old serpent Satan does his level best to repel the invasion, however, in this case, the invasion is successful.
This struggle to retain control of humanity continues in the background as Satan tries again to derail the plan of God when he seeks to tempt Jesus to abandon the plan in the desert. (Matthew 4) When this also fails Satan tries one more time, thinking he has won the battle when Jesus is crucified, only to discover three days later that this also was part of God’s plan and that his defeat was now permanently sealed.
So while it is entirely appropriate to sing “joy to the world the Lord is come” we might want to add a verse to Silent Night to include the back story. Something more along the lines of “violent night, holy night, the battle is raging for the hearts and souls of people in every tribe and nation.” Thankfully, in this case, the heavenly invasion was successful and we can all now know the freedom and peace that is found in a relationship with Jesus Christ by making the choice to accept His offer. May you find the joy of Christmas in the Christ child this season!