A reading from Luke 2:34-35
And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed—and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.”
A missionary tells the story of a jungle encounter with a snake “larger than a human.” Into the missionary’s home it slithers, reptilian death threat, all fang and venom. Howling, the missionary and his wife fly out the door. Hearing their cries, a machete-wielding neighbor chops off the snake’s head. But the snake neither falls nor stills. Instead, it rises up headless and wages war inside that home for hours until it finally succumbs to death.
The writer who recounts the story reminds us that, like the jungle snake, Satan has been defeated, though for a time he continues to wage war in the world. He’s already dead; he just doesn’t know it yet.
The Prince of Peace has won our victory over the serpent. This is the scandalous truth about Christmas; much more than candy canes and twinkling lights, Christmas is the God of the universe breaking into the world to bring peace with his sword. Neither silent nor calm, it is a baby whose birth is God’s raid of Satan’s battleground, signaling the beginning of the end of the war.
The infant king comes with power and might, and his everlasting promise is peace. May this strengthen and inspire us to share the Good News this Christmas, and all year through.
Submitted by Ann Primus Berends