When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. “Get up,” he said, “take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him.” So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: “Out of Egypt I called my son.” When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi. —Matthew 2:13-16
As we head into Christmas, we often forget that the stories we tell this time of year about the gifts offered to the Lord by the Magi have a dark cousin. Yes, Emmanuel (translated “God is with us”) is born and worshiped. But he is also immediately feared, loathed, and exiled.
What to take from this as we stare 2022 in the face? For we have once again arrived at the place — just as at many other times in human history — where our bodies and our lives are slaves to the state, this time in the form of vaccine and other COVID tyrannies. But my entire generation has other ghastly scars as well.
The very year of my birth, 1973, declared that baby-killing was the law of the land. Then we got Jack Kevorkian and legal euthanasia to cull the old or inconvenient, thus making the starving to death of people like Terri Schiavo "the right thing to do." Next came, "How will my gay marriage impact your marriage?" Which took about 10 minutes to suddenly become, "You will be made to care." Oops. Now genders are gone altogether.
To sum up, the Spirit of the Age is telling you loud and clear that you have absolutely zero inherent worth. None. Not in the womb. Not out of it. You are an abstraction. An accident. And what you most definitely aren’t is a creation.
This is the Alpha-and-Omega point. Because if you are a creation, thus implying some kind of inherent worth, then there is a Creator who defines what that worth is. Which is why the Spirit of the Age has gone to such great pains to redefine reality to the point of pronouns for you. If you accept that, you can be as zealous as you want to be worshiping absolutely any form of chaos. Take that mess to its logical conclusion, and God is clinically dead.
For He’s the target here, not us. This has always been about God-killer stuff. Fortunately, the devil cannot win any frontal attacks against God. So to end the Trinitarian God, the God of relationship, the Spirit of the Age must end the relationship to reality itself. There must be nothing inherent. Thus, nothing sensed of true value. You must be in perpetual exile.
Which is where that baby in the manger comes in. As I said, this is not the first time in history our sin has stripped us of our dignity. Yet a beautiful paradox stands ready to save us once again. The devil who strips us of belief in virtue to ruin our relationship with God also takes us to the very place where God’s most holy gift enters into time and space for our sake. To love us perfectly through forgiveness no matter how deep the exile. And now, as much as ever, we have so very much to be forgiven for.
So yes, you have separated yourself, America, from God on a radical level where His existence is in question. It would indeed seem that God is clinically dead.
However, God takes a back seat to no one in being radical. He placed the literal keys of the kingdom into the hands of His Son, in the form of a helpless baby. It shattered everyone’s expectations. It altered countless plans. It cloaked ultimate worth and value in seeming meaninglessness in a humble stable, then declared for all the universe to hear that there is simply no place to hide from your destiny.
These are My ways, not yours, says the Lord. And that dawn of justice is here again on Dec. 25. It is our call to radically embrace it. No matter our collective denial of reality and our addictions to craven comforts and lies of all kinds, we are still no less in the place where a miracle can happen. In fact, we are primed for one.
We hurt ourselves. We hurt others. We destroyed so much good that was in our path. We tried everything to destroy a relationship that we thought limited us, but we just created more paths where love and mercy were born to tread. Because we are simply no match for God. He wants us. He came for us. The sooner we accept it, the better off we will be.
It is time for revival. For you. For me. For your enemies. To the ends of the earth. Our chains are gone. We've been set free. Our God, our Savior, has ransomed me. And like a flood, His mercy reigns: unending love, amazing grace.
Let the child in His manger have His way. There simply is no other.