When we become too familiar with things they can lose there wonder and impact. Each year we hear the story of Christmas told again and again. It is wonderful, but it is easy to lose sight of the amazing epic tale that God is telling. I wrote this biblical version of the Christmas story for my children, Margaret and Zachary, many years ago so that they could have a fresh glimpse of God’s incredible work at Christmas. Enjoy!
The tale of Christmas began long before a child was ever born in Bethlehem. Once, before the beginning of time, there was a spiritual fellowship of three that was so intimate, so perfect, so complete that the three were actually one. This fellowship was God, and out of his unlimited power, He created an order of angelic creatures to carry out his divine will in heaven. But, darkness crept into the heart of an angelic prince. His beauty and splendor had convinced him that he could destroy the fellowship and rule heaven. His hunger for power overflowed to many other angels and there was a great rebellion in heaven.
At the dawn of time, there was another order created by God, an order of men. This order was flesh and blood in nature and dwelled on earth. Yet men were shaped in the image of God, distinctly spiritual, and brought supreme delight to God. In those early days, man walked with God in perfect friendship and was given the privilege of caring for His world of abundant splendor. But darkness lurked. The fallen prince reemerged as a serpent, crafty with wicked intentions. He convinced the inaugural man and women to turn away from the instructions of their God and pursue his counterfeit offer of life. Then, as now, the offer of the serpent proved empty. It did not provide life, but took it away. The once intimate friendship between God and man was torn. Hostility would exist between God and His creation as long as the darkness of sin stood between them. For light can have nothing to do with darkness.
Age after age of men passed. God would continually reach out in love to his lost friends and for a time it would appear that peace could be made. But the fallen prince was always near, tempting men away with the forked tongue of a snake. Darkness seemed to prevail, but there was a glimmer of hope. There was the prophecies. From the day of man’s fall onward, God would speak through chosen men pointing to a time when a special one would come and crush the head of the serpent and restore man to friendship with God. The clues were brief. They were scattered over the generations, but they gave hope: hope that man could again know God deeply, hope that the wounds of life could be healed, hope that sins could be forgiven, hope that oppression by the ungodly could be removed, hope that death would be swallowed by life.
When the time had fully come, a young woman named Mary was told that she would give birth to a child. This child would be God incarnate and come to do battle with the forces of darkness that keep men from their maker. A godly man named Joseph stood by Mary as her Husband though this child was God’s and not his own. They traveled to a small town of little significance in order to fulfill a requirement of the government. However, God had arranged it to fulfill the prophecies of old. In Bethlehem, a king was to be born, a savior of the world, the son of God. He was born and holy angels lit up the sky announcing the Savior’s birth to a group of shepherds caring for their sheep. They rushed to see the one who would become The Good Shepherd and upon seeing him spread the word that the Savior of the World had been born!
However, the battle against darkness was not over. Some time later, Wise men came from the East. They had seen a sign from God in the sky and knew of the Saviors birth. They knew he was to rule a kingdom and desired to worship the new king. But the current King, a man named Herod, was not willing to risk his throne to anyone, not even a child. Darkness gripped him and he ordered that all young children in the area of Bethlehem be killed. But before the evil instructions could be carried out, a holy angel warned Joseph to take his young family and escape to Egypt. God had protected His Son, Jesus, the Savior of all who would believe in Him.
Now, the story doesn’t end with Christmas. The story continues. Jesus would grow to be a man. He would do personal battle with the evil prince on many occasions. The ultimate victory would come over thirty years after the events of Christmas upon a cross at Calvary and within an empty tomb. The war has been won, but the battle for the hearts of men continues. It is in that battle that we fight today, seeking to bring the light of Jesus to dark places that men might be rescued. A day is coming soon when such warfare will not be necessary. Jesus will come a second time. King Jesus will take his throne and evil will be no more. The initiative of Christmas will be complete.
Come, Lord Jesus.
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