#9) Christmas card, part 2: infanticide

heroda few days ago, i mentioned that you will probably never see a baby-eating dragon on the front of a Christmas card. and yet, it’s right there in the pages of the Bible.

you know what else you won’t see on a card this year?

infanticide.

that is the killing of newborn infants.

and that’s exactly what happened at the first Christmas.

what an incredible story. here are the highlights:

there is a Roman appointed “king of the Jews” named Herod.
he heard of another king born in his realm.
the magi told him.
they wondered, “where is the one who has been born king of the Jews?”
this probably pissed Herod off. old kings don’t like it when new kings are born.
he was disturbed.
he told the magi to find this baby and let him know so he could go and worship.
but Herod never intended to worship the newborn king.
he intended to kill the newborn king.
God warned the magi to go home another way and avoid Herod.
and since Herod couldn’t kill the one baby boy
he would kill all the baby boys.
it became known as “the massacre of the innocents.”

it was also a massacre of the innocence.

and it revealed (again) the world’s need for a Savior.

and while you will most likely never see infanticide coming from Hallmark anytime soon…they do depict well that a Savior was indeed given.

a baby boy.
who survived death once.
to grow up and defeat it again.

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#8) Christmas card, part 1: a baby-eating dragon

dragoni am calling these next two posts “things you won’t likely see on a Christmas card anytime soon.”

(in the interest of full disclosure, i think i remember reading something by Max Lucado about Christmas cards you won’t likely see soon. it stuck with me.)

our first installment: a baby-eating dragon.

in the book of Revelation, the author John has a vision. he sees a woman, pregnant and crying out in the pain of childbirth. he also sees an enormous red dragon with seven heads. the dragon was standing in front of the woman.

the dragon’s intention: to devour the baby the moment he was born.

terrifying. and not something likely to be printed by Hallmark anytime soon.

it’s just not very…oh, i don’t know…Christmas-y.

it reminds us, once again, of the stark reality of Jesus’ birth. it was not sterile. it was not pretty. it was not always Christmas card material.

there were forces against him from the beginning. forces that understood the cosmic fate that hung in the balance. forces that were ready to wage war.

so, how does John’s vision end?

well, the dragon with ten heads stands by, as the baby is born. ten mouths poised to devour the child. as the baby arrives, John notes he “will rule all nations” and then is snatched up and away from the jaws of the hungry enemy. the child is taken up to God and his throne.

the simple point? the Christ-child is victorious. his enemy loses.

that sounds like a Christmas card i would buy.