A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne.
Giving birth to a baby is an eventful experience. While you don’t remember your own birth, it is likely that after you took your first breath of air, you cried out as loud as your little lungs could handle, as if to announce your arrival into the new world around you.
Revelation chapter 12 is an unusual picture of a very eventful birth. A woman is ready to give birth to a son who would rule the earth. A dragon looks to devour the new baby. But God rescued the baby boy from the dragon. It’s a picture of Jesus’ birth which we celebrate this Christmas.
Don’t lose sight that Christmas was part of a struggle that went back to the very beginning of the world. Christmas is God’s answer to defeat an ancient dragon who wished to wage a war against God himself. Christmas is God keeping his promise to Adam and Eve that her offspring would someday crush the head of Satan. Despite Satan’s best efforts to destroy Jesus, God would win the day. Jesus was born into our world to defeat our greatest enemy!
Childbirth is an eventful experience. Christmas is even better because Jesus is born for us! It is God’s announcement that his Son came down into the world to defeat sin. Thank God for his eventful gift of love born into the world!
Lord God, you sent your Son to battle our great enemy, the devil. Through his death and life, he defeated that ancient serpent and won heaven for us. Remind us always of the true purpose of your Son’s birth into our world. Amen.