Well, December is almost here and we have switched gears from the Thanksgiving Season to the Christmas Season. The weather is cold and Christmas is in the air. Lights are going up all over, along with Christmas trees and all sorts of decorations. People are getting into the Christmas spirit. What a wonderful time of the year!
None of us really know the day when Christ as born, but it was not likely that it was in December. Who cares, really, when He was born? The real issue is THAT He was born! Now there is something to celebrate. And, to tell you the truth, December 25th is as good a day as any to think about it in a global moment. As believers we must consider it constantly while we appreciate the fact that somewhere in the world, even non believers are considering Him.
The birth of Jesus is way more than a special holiday time in which we remember Him. It was a time when God testified about Himself. The night Jesus was born was a prophesied moment in history when God stepped back into His very own creation to begin restoration of all that which was precious to Him. It was not just about man, but His whole universal creation! Mankind was certainly a large part of the target, but God’s whole creation had been affected by the presence of evil, revealed first in the Garden of Eden. God already “knew” good and evil, but at that time, there was no human eye to view it. But, when it smashed into view of His newly created man, God moved against it, visible to us. And, at that point, He warned Satan and all that followed Him that He would defeat and remove their presence from all that He has created. The war was on.
Instead of the mental image of a “sweet little baby” lying in a manger, we might just change that to a “Mighty Warrior” who, being God Himself, stepped into flesh prepared for battle. Jesus came into this world to defeat evil from the presence of all of that which He created. Sure He died for man, but He did it to return him to his created purpose and put things back to the way He originally intended because He loved His creation so… all of it!
All of what He did, is doing and will do, is not just about us. It is far bigger than us. It is huge. We are not the only ones or things devastated by evil. His creation, all of it, was affected by the presence of evil. When evil stepped in, it was as if it “derailed” everything. You cannot derail one train car without affecting every component of a train. Some will be more tragic than others, but affected they are.
Does God love us? He certainly does! Does He want close fellowship with us? He does! But, is His redeeming work just about us? No! No! No! It is about His whole creation. There is more to it than just us!
God’s whole creation, all of it, was affected by the presence of evil becoming visible to it. Every created purpose in the universe was affected and God set out to make it right again. Mankind is one of the components of it, but this thing is huge. It is bigger than just us. And we must not be disappointed when we come to realize that we are not the only target of correction here. In fact, we ought to be excited as we watch God work.
Now, here is the real kicker. God created man to rule over His creation in the beginning. That is clear from the beginning account of man’s existence. So, the Scripture shows that God is saving us, redeeming us from our sins and bringing us back into His fellowship, which is wonderful. And if that is all there is to it, it would still be wonderful. But, by redeeming us, He has a larger purpose in mind. When we complete our covenant with Him, His Holy Spirit moves into us and takes up residence there. That’s awesome! Now, every word we speak and every action we preform is monitored by God within us. We then are commissioned to go into the world and speak the message of the Good News, that God has come to remove evil from the presence of the earth and reclaim His creation.
God assures us that we will be on the front battle lines against the presence of evil but that He will be the one doing the fighting. It is as if we are to bring Him to the battle front, He will do the fighting, and the victory will be won and the glory will be His.
My brothers and sisters in the covenant of Jesus Christ, we must realize that by His birth into this world, God has clarified to us that we are on a mission. It is not about church buildings and pep rallies. It is about war on the presence of evil that has discredited out Creator and that God has thought enough of us to allow us to be an vital part of setting things right.
So, when you see the image of that little baby in a manger, just know that the sweet little baby is a warrior on a mission to destroy evil from the presence of His very own creation and He came here to recruit a army of believers through whom He would receive a victory and let us know that “Peace On Earth” is going to come through “War On Evil!” Wow! I just thought we were important to Him, but now I know that we are vital to the whole recovery process of His entire creation.
That is humbling, don’t you think? Should I still give gifts and celebrate Christmas? Sure. Can I still sing Christmas carols? Certainly. What then can I do to best honor Him? The answer is easy. Enlist! Suit up in His armor and prepare yourself for the fight! Do you want peace on earth? Pick up the Sword of the Spirit and learn how to use it and take courage. We are at war!! God will bring the victory, exerting His Mighty Power through us and He will be VICTORIOUS!
God bless and Go Cats!
Rev. Scott Murphy is the Pastor at the First Christian Church in Russellville.