Charlie's Blog: Christmas Reflections


Christmas Reflections

Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.

Few people use the verses from Revelation as a text about Christmas. Everyone loves to see the cute baby in the manger and hear about the wise men from the east who come to see him. But I like to see the Christmas story for what it truly represented--God's spiritual atom bomb dropped in the world as the ultimate assault on the Devil. Naturally, Satan didn't appreciate this one bit and moved against the newborn child. We know this as the massacre of the innocents in Matthew's gospel. Herod the Great in his paranoia had newborn children killed to try and squash the newborn King of the Jews. Scholars and historians debate whether this event ever happened, but we know that Herod killed his own sons to prevent them from ever taking his throne. The slaughter of the innocents was a non-event in a kingdom rife with atrocity. I think this is why Matthew records it where others do not. It was spiritually significant though just another day in the history of evil sort of like abortion today.

There are two groups of people the Devil despises. The first are the Jews. The second are the Christians. Throughout history, both groups have taken the brunt of violence and bloodshed. Why does the Devil go after these people? It is his way of getting back at God and thwarting God's plan. I have often wondered why the Nazis were so maniacal in wanting to kill the Jews. Even when it was clear that they were going to lose the war, the Nazis desperately ramped up their concentration camps to kill even more Jews. The war was a secondary consideration to their primary purpose in the Final Solution. It is truly bizarre stuff.

The madness of the Nazis makes perfect sense if you believe the Devil was pulling their strings to achieve the aim of Jewish elimination. The Jews are still part of God's plan and an essential part of that plan. I won't go deep into eschatology here, but the end of time will culminate in the Jewish acceptance of Jesus as their Messiah. But if the Jews no longer exist, this can never happen. The Devil wins the chess game. The irony is that the Holocaust ended up putting the Jews back firmly in Israel.

The Devil slaughtered the innocents in an attempt to thwart the first advent. Similarly, he wishes to kill the Jews to thwart the second advent. You can see the Devil's work in the irrational hatred of people for Jews, Christians, and the Catholic Church. Our current president who bends over backward to not offend Muslims thinks nothing of making some nuns pay for contraception. What I draw from that is that Islam is from the Devil, Catholicism is from God, and Barack Obama is evil. When you bend over backwards to not say an offending word against people who rape and murder but you take special delight in rubbing nuns' noses in it, you are evil. But I digress.

When God took on the form of a baby in a manger, the universe changed. It is said that the place once occupied by Lucifer in Heaven is now the place where our Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary sits. We see this in the Magnificat, Mary's hymn of praise in Luke's gospel:

And Mary said: My soul doth magnify the Lord.
And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
Because he hath regarded the humility of his handmaid; for behold from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed.
Because he that is mighty, hath done great things to me; and holy is his name.
And his mercy is from generation unto generations, to them that fear him.
He hath shewed might in his arm: he hath scattered the proud in the conceit of their heart.
He hath put down the mighty from their seat, and hath exalted the humble.
He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away.
He hath received Israel his servant, being mindful of his mercy:
As he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his seed for ever. 
LUKE 1:46-55 Douay-Rheims

The "mighty from their seat" is the Devil cast from Heaven while the humble exalted is Mary herself. Mary bore the Christ child and became the Mother of God. Today, she is the Queen of Heaven. By saying yes to God, she crushed the head of Satan.

This was foretold all the way back in Genesis in the protoeuangelion or first gospel. The verse says, 
And I will put enmity
Between you and the woman,
And between your seed and her seed;
He shall bruise you on the head,
And you shall bruise him on the heel. 
Different translations say that "she" will crush Satan's head. Whether it is Christ or His mother, it makes no difference since both worked to put Satan down. But in giving birth to Jesus, our Blessed Mother undid the sin of Eve. Protestants do not hold Mary in high esteem, and you can see this in their low regard for women. Protestant men especially love to talk about women being subservient to men, yet never mention the duty of men towards women. If you want to know who killed chivalry, it was Protestants.

Christmas is ultimately about the Incarnation. As I reflect upon it, it is staggering to behold. The great God Almighty who created the cosmos and exists infinite and all powerful became a baby. He slobbered on Himself and pooped in a diaper. He nursed at His mother's breast. If some part of you recoils at that fact, then you understand why the Devil thought it ludicrous. Many theologians believe that Lucifer rebelled against worshipping an incarnate deity saying that he would not serve. Basically, the Devil would not worship a God that pooped in a diaper. It was too scandalous. So, Mary's yes replaced the Devil's no, and she has taken his place. God destroys the proud, and He exalts the humble.

You will see that many of the heresies are obsessed with denying that this child born in Bethlehem was not the incarnation of God. Arianism denied Christ's divinity turning Jesus into merely the highest being created by God. Islam derives from this Arian heresy giving esteem to Jesus as a prophet but denying His divinity. Other heresies like Docetism will admit divinity but try to deny His humanity. Why are so many heresies concerned with the nature of Christ? It is because they all wish to extinguish that truth that causes so much grief and pain to the Devil. Jesus was fully God and fully man. Or, in the case of Christmas, He was fully baby.

God was a baby. It just blows the mind. God loved us to much that He became a baby. That baby was the light of the world. That baby changed everything. The dragon wished to devour that baby as soon as it was born, but the dragon failed. That great beast went against a woman and a baby and lost. This leaves us with a question. Will you worship and serve a God who became a baby? I can only speak for me, but I will worship and serve. Mary said yes, and I say yes. Pride led to Lucifer's fall. The way of humility is the path to exaltation. This is what Christmas is all about. It is taking that humble path like that baby in the manger. May He be praised forever. Merry Christmas!