Only 9 more days until Christmas morning!
What did your heart do when I reminded you of that? Mine jumps at the thought of the coming of Jesus but I admit, it beats faster when I consider the preparations left undone for the moment. This Advent I am trying to be more intentional about tending my heart and now is the perfect time to reflect. How’s your heart doing?
In 2007, I published a book (Rising With the Son) and ended it with this short story. It was Christmas, and I was trying to capture all that I was feeling. I thought now would be a perfect time to re-offer it to you.
Enjoy the Moment!
The Christmas Invasion – A Short Long Story
In a dimly lit room, with silence all around, a man sits alone at his desk doing the things important men do at their desks — paying bills, creating “to do” lists and generally trying to keep his mind busy.
But this is not a normal night. He puts his pen down to reflect a moment on the gravity of his situation. You see, the day is Christmas Eve, and all the planning and preparations for the holiday have laid his finances bare. But his heart remains intrigued.
As he struggles to find the true meaning of the moment he finds himself in a life-or-death struggle for a heart that is fully alive.
This unsuspecting night became the moment King Jesus led the ultimate invasion for the heart of every man. We should not be surprised that God would choose such a tactic. It has been written on the hearts of man in battle since the beginning of time: Sun Tzu, Napoleon, Blitzkrieg, Patton — all their strategies focused on the advantage of surprise to claim final victory.
So God set in motion a series of events that would, eternally, from this morning on, change everything. Born in a manger in the town of Bethlehem of Judea, Jesus took His first breath as the Son of Man. In this cold and vulnerable position the one who would be called Wonderful Counselor sprang to action and the world would never be the same.
And this entitlement has already come under attack. As the evil one stalked around seeking out the Son to devour, his first effort was to use three wise men to scout out the location of this new King.
But God had chosen well, and in the hearts of this wise trio laid truth, justice and honor. They could clearly see all the glory of the King and remained loyal to Jesus.
Herod was lying when he claimed he wanted to “worship” Him as well. They must have seen it a mile away, for it was no small task to commit treason against the worldly king. But they did, and the power of love prevailed — they honored the King with gifts and financed his early missions.
His fury was unleashed as the king of earth digested his betrayal. He set out to destroy all hope of the Child and issued an order to kill, steal and destroy every male born under the age of two in the region of Bethlehem.
That night was marked by blood, weeping and gnashing of teeth. Many children were murdered, but God, a master of strategy, had the Father move the Child to Egypt to insure his safety.
So under the cover of night, and only by moments, the Child and his parents escape. This fulfilled the prophecy that the King would come from the land of Egypt. The moment passed but the war was in full motion!
While evil felt His presence and the impending invasion, most allies needed a report. Like CNN from the sands of Baghdad, some unsuspecting, but strong-in-character, shepherds who stood watch against every wild beast that would come against their flocks led the rebel group correspondence team.
That night an angel, in all his glory, presented a vision and gave instruction to the men. They believed and obeyed, and because of their faith the announcement of the invasion was spread as they went around proclaiming to everyone what they had seen and heard. Now the lands teamed with allies, all eagerly awaiting further news of their King.
As time passed, Herod died and that allowed the Child, born in a manger, to return home to Nazareth. This fulfilled yet another prophesy of the coming King — He would be called a Nazarene.
And so it’s told, by the ancient of days, that Christmas is upon us. May God bless you and prepare you for all that lies beyond.
The man at his desk allows his thoughts to drift back to the bills and “to do” list. But something has changed. Something’s shifted. From deep within his heart he cries out, “We are at war, and I must choose a side!” The stakes are high, and at the center of the battle lauds his heart.
Jesus offers freedom and abundant life. And so, this particular eve, he chooses life! He chooses Jesus…