Well, it is that time of year again when the “War against Christmas” is going full force as the ACLU, the Freedom From Religion Foundation and the Atheists Association are doing their best to eliminate all true Christmas commemorations or celebrations from public places. Whether it is Nativity Scenes on public property or Christmas carols sung in the public schools (or, in one school any displays of red and green!), or greetings of “Merry Christmas” in a shopping center, they are doing all they can to get rid of any and all evidences of “the Real Reason for the Season.”
While I am both saddened and angered by this, I am also amused to think that the birth of a child in an obscure village in the little country of Israel nearly 2,000 years ago could cause such an uproar and pose such a threat–especially to those who claim they don’t even believe God exists–that they would do all they can to prevent the celebration of that event. I don’t know of any attempts to stop any other “birthday celebrations.” Truly, the birth of Jesus Christ must be of great significance, both to those of us who have believed in Him and to those who oppose Him.
Even at the time of His birth, there was an attempt to destroy the “Nativity Scene” by killing the One born that starry night in Bethlehem. “Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King, behold magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him. And when Herod the King heard it, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him…And when they (the magi) saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. And they came into the house and saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell down and worshiped Him…” (Mt. 2:1-3,10,11). King Herod didn’t share their joy, but, feeling his authority was being threatened, determined how old the child would be at this time and put out an edict to kill all the male children in the Bethlehem area, from two years old and under (Mt. 2:16). But, an angel of the Lord had appeared to Joseph in a dream, saying, “Arise and take the Child and His mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is going to search for the child to destroy Him” (Mt. 2:13).
So, the “war against Christmas” didn’t begin with the ACLU or the FFRF or the Atheists Association” but with His birth. (Actually, even before that as we read in the Old Testament of the attempts of Satan to destroy the royal line through which the Messiah would come that would defeat him, as prophesied way back in Gen. 3:15. The “war against Christmas,” while it is spear-headed by a number of anti-Christian groups, is really run by our “adversary, the devil, who prowls about like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour” (I Pet. 5:8). He currently is “the ruler of this world” (Jn. 12:31), “the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 2:2). He hates God and is doing all in his power (actually only what God allows him to do) to destroy God’s work on earth, to destroy Christians and Christianity, and to eliminate all records of what God has done, including His miraculous incarnation as God became man to dwell among us and become our sin-bearer.
It is no wonder, then, that the world system (ruled by our adversary, the devil) is opposed to any evidences of Christ, and of those who follow Him. Jesus told His disciples (and us): “If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you. If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you” (Jn. 15:18,19). So, the very fact that there is so much opposition to Christmas commemorations and celebrations, and to Christian expressions of any kind, is evidence of the truth of God’s Word and of the very claims of Jesus that He was and is the very God. In John’s gospel, it says, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God…In Him was life and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it…He came to His own (the Jews), and those who were His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth” (Jn. 14:1-14).
That little child born of a virgin in Bethlehem didn’t stay a child. Luke 2:40, 52 says, “And the Child continued to grow and become strong, increasing in wisdom; and the grace of God was upon Him…And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Jesus grew into adulthood and at age 30 began His public ministry, gathering a group of disciples to teach and train. Then, after three years, opposition to Him grew so great that He was betrayed, arrested, unjustly tried, beaten, scourged and crucified. But, all this was actually in fulfillment of His true mission to earth, and that was to become the sacrifice for sin so that we could be reconciled to God and have eternal life. “We see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, namely, Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of God He might taste death for everyone…Since then the children share in flesh and blood, He Himself likewise also partook of the same, that through death He might render powerless him who had the power of death, that is the devil; and might deliver those who through fear of death were subject to slavery all their lives” (Heb. 2:9,14,15). But, praise God, the story doesn’t end with His crucifixion and burial, but in three days He arose, victorious over Satan, and over the consequences of sin, which is death. Now He offers eternal life to all who will repent, turn to Him and believe in Him as their personal Savior and Lord. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16). That’s the true message of Christmas, and no “war against Christmas” is going to stop that “Good News” from being shared. In fact, the attempts to do so only give credence to the very message. God always has the last word!!