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The heavenly host

In light of yet another senseless shooting, this time in California, I wonder how long until it comes to my back yard.

Why are we surprised when evil raises its ugly head?  Since time began on earth and even before, there was conflict between the Force of good and forces of evil.  It is first recorded for us in Genesis, and the ongoing rumblings of war march through history.

What does any of that have to do with Christmas?  A lot.  Let’s take a look at a little town called Bethlehem on the night Jesus was born.

The shepherds in the field on that night were in the right place at the right time to get a personal message from the Almighty.  Caring for lambs most likely headed for temple sacrifice, they were hoping for a quiet night.

Instead they got the surprise of their lives.  An angel broke into their silent night proclaiming the most astounding news.  Good news!  News of a Savior, Christ the Lord.  Lying in a manger.  This was quite a proclamation to men who were not used to rubbing elbows with the upper crust of priests and kings. They were simple folk simply doing their job.

Before they could fully comprehend the message, suddenly a massive group of heavenly beings appeared.  A multitude of the host of heaven.  But these were not as we often picture them on Christmas cards or in our pageants.  They were not a sweetly-singing celestial choir but rather an army of the troops of heaven.  A heavenly knighthood.  They were prepared to do battle.  We don’t know if they sang or not, but their mission was to war as needed.

Angel warrior

Lucifer and his minions used all their efforts to thwart the plan of redemption, ready to devour the Child, this One who would one day rule the nations with a rod of iron.  The sweet little infant Child in a manger was the greatest of threats to the kingdom of darkness.   And they would do anything to keep God’s plan from being completed.

I wonder if they were surprised, just like the shepherds in the  field. Surprised by the Lord’s host, those who were ready and willing to serve because their Captain lay as helpless babe in a feeding trough.

Through the earthly life of Jesus we read of angels intervening, bringing messages, coming to strengthen and help, doing God’s bidding.  Until at the end of His life, at the last breath the God-man cried, “It is finished.”  And satan was defeated!

There is an enemy, and it is not your neighbor, your spouse, your co-worker, your in-laws.  We must recognize this and fight the real foe.

As children of the most high God we will be in the thick of the battle, called to be courageous, to fight the good fight of faith, to stand and when we have done all, to still stand.

Take heart, child of God.  The battle is not ours but the Lord’s.  We are not in this alone.  The Captain of the Lord’s host, Jesus Christ himself, has come to take over.  And. He. Is. Victorious!

And when it is all said and done, we who are on the side of the Lord, we win.

And that is something to sing about.

 

{Revised and reposted from December 2014}

 

 

 

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