Her child was snatched away from the dragon. ... Then there was war in heaven.
Revelation 12:5, 7 nlt
I would pay good money to have a nativity scene with Revelation 12 included. Not only would it capture the imagination, but it would also better prepare us to celebrate the holidays and to go on to live the Story Christmas invites us into.
Your vision of the nativity was shaped by classic Christmas cards and lovely crèche displays. And while I still love those tableaus very much, I’m convinced they’re an almost total rewrite of the story. I understand this traditional imagery is probably dear to you, but friend, it’s also profoundly deceiving by creating all sorts of warm expectations—many quite subconscious—of what the nature of the Christian life is going to be like.
But war in heaven the instant Jesus was born—this is an essential part of the Story. Yes—Christmas is the glow of candlelight, and a baby sleeping in a manger. It is starlight, shepherds in a field. But Christmas is also an invasion. The kingdom of God striking at the heart of the kingdom of darkness with violent repercussions. And victory.
Christmas is meant to remind us each year of the Great Story we live in. Not something cute and quaint from time gone by, but the most epic Story unfolding right now, all around us. What will help you remember that this year?