Christmas is Best Understood in Light of Easter
Christmas is best understood in light of Easter. Christmas answers the question, “Who is the One whom God raised from the dead?” He is the One whom God sent into the world, “born of a woman, born under the law” (Galatians 4:4). He is divine wisdom incarnate, the Word made flesh. He was “despised and rejected” (Isaiah 53:3) abandoned by friend and foe and suffered a cruel death. He drank the cup of suffering dry. Given all this, “Merry Christmas” sounds a bit shallow.
The Good News is that humanity’s rejection and resistance could not stop God’s incarnate Word at work. The Incarnation is a divine incantation. In Christ, God casts a “good spell” on earth. Christ reenchants our disenchanted world in which it’s “always winter and never Christmas.”
Many of you will recognize the above quotation from C.S. Lewis’ book, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. After the cruel murder of the Christ figure, Aslan, the children are distraught. Their hope is gone, the story has ended badly, the evil witch has won. But, when Aslan is raised, he tells the children:
The Witch knew Deep Magic, there is magic deeper still which she did not know. Her knowledge goes back to the dawn of time. But if she could have looked a little further
back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who had committed no treachery was killed in a traitor’s stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backward.
Christmas is deeper magic from before the dawn of time. In this small Child, born in weakness, lies hidden the power and wisdom of God. Nothing in all creation will ultimately defeat this Child. Therefore, nothing can separate you from God’s kingdom, God’s love and God’s forgiveness given in Christ.
Because this is true, I wish you a merry and magical Christmas and a blessed new year! I also thank you for your prayers and gifts for the North American Lutheran Seminary.
Almighty God, You made this holy night shine with the brightness of the true Light. Grant that here on earth we may walk in the light of Jesus’ presence and in the last day wake to the brightness of His glory. Amen.