Unfortunately, much of the modern American discussion about Christmas is centered around a supposed “War on Christmas.” The increasingly secular culture pushes against traditional religious trappings of Christmas and many feel aggrieved or attacked.
There are legitimate religious liberty issues that should be defended, but I’ve yet to see a positive outcome in any of the often absurd complaints. And because we spend so much energy focuses on the war on Christmas, we often miss the war of Christmas.
Make no mistake—Christmas is an act of war. The baby swaddled in a manger is a declaration that the invasion of God’s Kingdom into this world has begun.
When the time came to completion, God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba, Father!” So you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.
As a helpless newborn, Jesus entered into a cosmic war zone where Satan tries to extend his rule over this world and enslave more and more people. God’s plan is to bring about sons and daughters as new creations.
The tiny infant cries echoing around the still Bethlehem night are, despite their appearance, mighty war cries to signal to all of the spiritual forces opposed to God, “This world is not yours. The rightful King is here to take back what is His!”
We call this season Advent as it is a period of waiting for Christmas day, identifying with those who waited for the Messiah to arrive, anticipating the celebration of His birth.
But this Advent season will only be complete at the second Advent of Christ, when He returns to finish all that He started as the baby in the manger. The secret invasion at night will end as a victory march in a light far brighter than any sun.
The solution to the silly disputes over a store employing wishing you a “Happy Holidays” instead of a “Merry Christmas,” is not, as many would contend, just to focus on the warm, fuzzy feelings of Christmas.
Instead, it is to recognize the true war happening at Christmas. We are not engaged in battle with a secular culture or our atheist neighbor.
As C.S. Lewis wrote in Mere Christianity,
“Enemy-occupied territory — that is what this world is. Christianity is the story of how the rightful king has landed, you might say landed in disguise, and is calling us to take part in a great campaign of sabotage.”
Our celebration of Christmas should be working toward the sabotaging of the battle plans of Satan, our true enemy and the one whom Christ came to conquer and defeat.
It’s not the store owner with a “holiday tree” or the school administrator who has a “winter celebration.” Those are the very people Jesus came to Earth to redeem, to rescue, to recapture from the enemy’s camp. His invasion and war is as much for them as it is for you and I.
Do not allow any war on Christmas to distract you from your role in the war of Christmas. Very easily, we could win the former and lose the latter — to our shame and eternal detriment.