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Christmas as War

“We do not just prepare for a Christmas full of delightful sentiment, family time, and happy nostalgia – although all these things are acknowledged and embraced by us. We celebrate Christmas, and everything that follows, as an act of war. War? What about peace on earth, good will toward men? Jesus also said that He did not come to bring peace on earth, but rather a sword. How may this be reconciled? Jesus is the Prince of Peace, but the peace He brings is not the peace of dithering diplomats, who like nothing better than to talk, talk, talk. Our Lord Jesus does bring peace, but He does so as a conquering king. He brings peace through superior firepower. That firepower is not carnal, but it is potent, and the principalities and powers (those that are left) tremble at the might wielded by a faithful Christian church, uncontaminated by idols, worshiping God in the spirit of holiness.

And so we are preparing to say to one another, “Merry Christmas!” And we sing to one another about the inauspicious beginning of Christ’s conquest – “Away in a manger, no crib for a bed.” But we also see, with the eye of faith, the end of the process – “He comes to make His blessings flow, far as the curse is found.” And so in Christmas, we turn to the principalities and powers (those that are left), conduct our celebrations, and all God’s people say, “Take that.”

– Douglas Wilson, God Rest Ye Merry (pp. 116-117)