Summary: Advent only has three midweek services this year. This was the last midweek sermon before Christmas. I was reminded of this interesting text reading a book by John Eldridge and thought that it’s a "nativity" story that doesn’t get much press in the church
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, the Holy Three In One who sent a child to slay a dragon.
Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
It’s not the usual nativity story that we’re used to. There is no mention of shepherds and their flocks, no mysterious glow around a pristine manger that seems better kept than some of our offices and living rooms. There IS mention of stars, but they are stars that fall down out of the sky when this dragon swings his tail. There are “choirs of angels,” but them seem to be closer to a scene from Braveheart than what they look like the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. It’s not the usual nativity story.
But there is the unmistakable story found beneath what confuses us. It’s impossible for us to deny that this is the story of the birth of a little Baby who would defeat evil. It is impossible for us to deny that there is some sort of truth to all of this that is somehow the same as our Hallmark cards and yet so different.
Christmas is a silent night for many of us. It is a holy night. But that first Christmas night wasn’t so silent. It was filled with Mary’s screams and moans and grunts as she gave birth – an experience that must have felt like the greatest battle she ever fought.
And if you read this nativity story from Revelation, it appears that there was another battle starting that night, a battle between God and this Great Dragon – Satan. He is standing at the ready to devour the child. The picture painted seems to give the appearance that Satan is standing in the same place that doctors and nurses are standing in most births today. He is standing there ready to devour any hope for human kind.
He has already been fighting. He has shut the doors to the inns with laziness and selfishness. He has tried to convince Joseph that God’s plan could not be as miraculous as a teenage virgin giving birth. He has planted jealousy in Herod’s heart which will eventually kill hundreds of little Hebrew boys.
That night was the first battle of great war. That Dragon know that he is going to lose. That Dragon knows the outcome of this baby’s birth – and because of that he rages and roars all the more – trying to sweep us out of the sky along with all of those stars.
But we know the Christ child. We know what He came to do. We know of the climax of this war, the cross that He endured all of us. We know that when that Dragon comes around, ready to devour us, that he is defeated already. We have conquered that Dragon by the blood of the Lamb.
And so, because that Christ child came on that night of Bethlehem, our world is set at peace in the midst of a war.
On December 24th, 1914, during the first year of World War I, British and German troops were entrenched against each other in bitter fighting and cold. The gun play died down that night. Soon, a British sentry reported to his superior officer that the Germans were doing something odd – each soldier was lighting a candle and placing it on a pole or bayonet. Soon all of the German soldiers had candles…some of them had small evergreen branches as well. The British held their fire.
In the stillness of the night, a song could be heard, sung in German. As the British soldiers gathered the tune, they began singing along in English. Silent Night, Holy Night. All is calm.
There amongst the weapons of war and amongst the raging of that Dragon, there slept men filled with peace because of this little Baby. There amongst a dirty stable and amongst the raging of that Dragon lay Mary filled with peace because of this little Baby. Here amongst our sins and imperfections and amongst the raging of that Dragon we are filled with peace because of that little Baby.