Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A Nativity Dragon?

This is a picture of my nativity set.  My wife has some very beautiful nativities that are up around the house, but this one is mine.  Last year I bought the red dragon to be a part of the scene.  Why did I think it was necessary to have a dragon part of the nativity?  It comes from the cryptic telling of Jesus' birth in Revelation 12:

And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars. She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth. And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems.  His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it. She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne, and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days (verses 1-6; ESV).
While it isn't the easiest thing to understand one thing we can know: there is more going on that first Christmas than the birth of Jesus. There is a spiritual reality that we miss. The shepherds saw a glimpse of it when they were visited by the angelic army, but that is the closest we come to it.

The reason why it is important to remember the Dragon at Christmas is to be reminded that there was a specific reason Jesus came to earth in the first place.  It was to end the rebellion against God that the Dragon began and that we have joined.  That is done by defeating the Dragon, sin, and death and rescuing us from the Dominion of Darkness and bringing us into the Kingdom of Light.

The Dragon reminds us that there is darkness and evil in this world, and therefore God's light and love and shine all the more brightly.  There is a Dragon who wants to steal, kill, and destroy God's wonderful creation and Christmas is the declaration that God is fighting back, and that God will have the victory and and His creation will be rescued.

The ironic thing is that this victory ultimately comes, not through the might God's power and army, but through His love.  It is the helpless baby in the manger that finally slays the dragon and brings freedom and life to people.  This has all the makings of a mythic story, and it is a story that we are still caught up in today.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

There is a lot more drama going on than we realize- even in the daily I would surmise!
thanks for sharing this perspective!

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