The War On Christmas

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“KEVIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

It’s the ear-deafening shrill of a mother realizing her 6-year old is home alone while she is on an airplane almost to Paris.   We can only imagine the feelings of desperation and horror this mother felt.

AHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

What living person doesn’t t know the trademark “hands slapping their face” in only the way Macaulay Culkin can pull it off?

Home Alone, the classic Christmas movie, will make its way through the TV Guide Christmas time slots, along with ElfWhite Christmas, The Christmas Story, and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation.

My son and husband love Home Alone, so inevitably I will sit and watch as my son takes notes from Kevin on how to wreak havoc on his siblings.

All of us watching have hearts aching for Kevin to be reunited at Christmas.  Young and old know Christmas is about being together – not home alone.  A lonely Christmas is no Christmas at all.

This reminds me of another Son, a Son that would leave His home in heaven.  His first Christmas would be celebrated in the arms of a 15-year old virgin, surrounded by animals.  In some ways, it was a silent night.  His father was not screaming, freaking out, going ballistic in the background worrying about the safe arrival of His pride and joy.  In fact, the idea of this Son leaving His home had been planned from the very beginning of time. No shock, no worries.  This Father and Son had a plan – a rescue mission.

Days after watching this iconic blockbuster, there is a theme song stuck in my head and I am sure yours too – Carol of the Bells.  What is most annoying about thing about this song is that I don’t have all the words memorized, so my family gets to hear new and exciting renditions each and every year.

Hark how the bells, sweet silver bells,

All seem to say throw cares away.

We tend to get caught up in the hypnotizing trance of the sweet silver bells.  We envision ourselves on a sleigh ride, strapped down, desperately searching for the “Magic of Christmas.” We become consumed in drinking our eggnog, eating figgy pudding, shopping, catching sales, cyber sales, wanting, wrapping, thinking of warm fuzzies from yester years, holly and being jolly, hanging our stocking with care, sugar plums dancing in our heads, waiting for the big guy in red velvet apple bottom jeans (boots with the fur), chestnuts roasting by the fire, Jack Frost nipping at our nose, caroling, cleaning, food, friends, more food, and family.  It’s like the Carol of the Bells on replay the entire Christmas season!  We just get caught up in the frantic, crazy nostalgia hunt.

As much as we want to “throw cares away,” we just cannot seem to stop “making our lists and checking them twice.”  Where is the “comfort and joy?”  We desperately want to have ourselves a “Merry little Christmas and let our hearts be light!”

Then, of course, we talk about sweet baby Jesus. “Oh there He is . . .” We see Him lying in the manger and we tend to think of “poor, sweet Jesus.”  He is so cute in that little swaddling cloth. It’s as if the world is saying “goochie goo!”

This is War

Kevin was left home alone. Chances are he was not going to have a warm fuzzy Christmas because Kevin knew the burglars (the “Wet Bandits,” if you’ll remember) were heading his way.  As he sat down with his back to his front door with a bee-bee gun strapped to his chest, he exclaimed, “This is it, don’t get scared now.” For Kevin, it was a declaration of war.

When we think of Christmas, the picture of war portrayed in Home Alone may in a sense be more accurate than some of the cute, blissful, peaceful images that we have in our minds.  Jesus left the comforts of heaven not to look for a sale at Macy’s, but to fight a war.   His first cry as a tiny baby was a war-cry (without the silver bells in the background).

A war against what? A war against the captor – Satan.  Satan and sin hold God’s people captive as though they were a burglar holding a house hostage that does not belong to them.  God came to the earth to set the captives free.  He may have been wearing a cute “little swaddling cloth,” but He came as a conquering, warrior King.

No, He did not set up booby traps, or window seals laced with tar and nail heads. He did not come with a plan to knock this thief in the head with a hot iron.  However, He did come to crush the head of the Enemy, but He came to do so with His own blood.

There has always been a war against Christmas, because there has been a war against Christ.  From the moment He was born (and even before), people wanted Jesus dead.  King Herod, yeah he wasn’t searching for Jesus so He could present him with an outlandish baby shower; no he wanted Christ dead.  Why? Herod wanted to be King and he did not want to bow the knee to some nursing infant.   Christmas is about worshipping the King, and yet we war against it as we listen to the voice of the serpent and “take the apple,” so that we may become kings ourselves.

Satan hates Christmas because Christmas is a celebration of Jesus.  Every time the serpent hears the Christmas story, He is reminded of the prophesy spoken to him by God in Gen 3:15, “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; He (Jesus) will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”

The initial blow to that puny little head has already been struck, and the war has been won.  Though we still find ourselves in a battle doing war with this snake-turned-lion seeking to devour us, we are longing for the return of King Jesus where He will destroy this Enemy once and for all as He casts him into the lake of fire forever.  So, as we celebrate Jesus at Christmas, we are not just celebrating his arrival, but we are celebrating the fact that He defeated Satan at the cross, and that He is coming AGAIN!

It’s like when the burglar hears, “Johnny Gangster in the shower.”

“I’m gonna give you to the count of 10 to get your ugly no good keister off my property . . . before I pump your guts full of lead . . . (gun shots) . . . keep the change ya filthy animal.”

This Christmas I am in a war to keep my eyes on Christ

There are so many little silver bells that put me into a trance.  So many flashy-sparkly-shiny trinkets and bright lights that keep me from beholding the true beauty of Christmas – the LIGHT of the world.

The North Star shown down on Bethlehem like a spotlight saying, “He is here!  Your Rescuer has come! Look! See! Over here!”

Instead of looking for the “magic” of Christmas, I should be consumed with the mystery of Christmas.

This is a mystery and a miracle:

Christ left the comforts of heaven so that we might know true “comfort and joy.” 

Because Christ came to carry the weight of all out sin, we can have ourselves a “Merry Little Christmas” and let our hearts “Be Light”.

When your heart is being pulled in by all the lights, look to the Light of the world that would die on a cross – forsaken and abandoned by His own Father. Christ had only known the stare of affection from His Father.  But for you, He took all of His Father’s wrath and hung there alone so you would never have to experience the righteous judgment of God.  Christmas is a call to war – a war that has already been won.  Christmas is about a family being together.  Christmas is about God coming to rescue His family so they would never again have to be home alone.   Twitter

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