Grace, peace, and mercy to you from God the Father, and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, through the Holy Spirit. Amen.
I am betting that many of you have nativity scenes in your house. Nativity scenes are one of my favorites. They convey the hope and love of God. Everything is picturesque. Mary and Joseph hovering over the manger looking down in awe at the new born Lord. Shepherds and angels gathered in the background. Sheep, donkeys, and oxen quietly grazing on the hay. To the east are the wise men, making their way first to Jerusalem and then to Bethlehem. It is peaceful and quiet. And, right in the middle of it all a giant red dragon looking to kill the baby Jesus.
Oh, do you not have a red dragon in your nativity scene? Wondering what the heck I am talking about. Let me show you the birth of Christ from the spiritual realm.
Dr. Louis Brighton tells us in his commentary on Revelation that the events described here by John “are cosmic in character because the actions depicted occur both above and on the earth. For what is portrayed before the eyes of John is nothing less than the cosmic war between God and the prince of darkness.”
Christmas is not just a day to dream of snow, sip coco, and open presents. It is June 6, 1944 only on the largest scale imaginable. It is an invasion. The Christ-child breaks into our earthly realm, heaven and earth meet in Him. He comes to bring salvation.
The Devil cannot stand idly by He has made great claims about himself. He has seven heads, 10 horns, and 7 diadems.
This, of course, is all a lie. And he is exposed as such when he is cast down from heaven. The entire birth, life, ministry, death, and resurrection of Jesus is compressed to one clause: “but her child was caught up to God and to his throne.” Because the focus is not on that, but on the outcome. In the Gospels (including John’s) we hear how Christ came to earth. How he sparred with Satan, overcoming temptation, casting out demons, freeing the oppressed and healing the sick, making clean the unclean, even bringing back people from the bonds of death. Until the Devil believes that he has won at Christ’s execution on the cross. Instead, his decisive victory becomes his ultimate defeat. Christ shatters the bonds of death and rises victorious. The dragon is exposed as an utter fraud. Christ, the child that the dragon waited to destroy, is victorious. He establishes peace between God and man.
All that starts right here. All that is why we gather together and remember the birth of Christ. Right here starts the forgiveness of your sins. Right here starts your hope. Right here is your God in the flesh of a child. He came to take away our sins. He came to give us the peace the surpasses all understanding.
And so we sing: Silent night, holy night! Son of God, love’s pure light / Radiant beams from Thy holy face / With the dawn of redeeming grace, / Jesus, Lord at Thy birth / Jesus, Lord at Thy birth. Amen.
And may the peace of God which surpasses all understanding guard your hearts and minds this Christmas season. Amen.
 Louis A. Brighton, Revelation, Concordia Commentary (St. Louis, MO: Concordia Pub. House, 1999), 325.
 Ibid, 328-329.
 Ibid, 333.