This morning in my devotionals, now alternating between Ezekiel the prophet and John the Revelator in my read, I was struck by both the differences and similarities in what was going on B.C. in Ezekiel’s day and what is going on A.D. in our current world. (I know that BCE and CE- Common Era are more acceptable in this pluralistic society, but for context we’ll stay with Anno Domini).
American Christianity has become infatuated with the holidays (not necessarily Holy Days) of Christmas and Easter. Our churches have for centuries celebrated the birth of The Christ and His death and resurrection, occurring some 33 years apart on this Earth. However, both these writers imply some dark battle occurring in the heavenlies, possibly preceding or even simultaneous with these grand moments and the events of our day. Thus, my curiosity? If I could bring clarity to this mystery of “a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet,” (Rev. 12:1 NIV) I myself would qualify as prophet.
“This calls for wisdom.” Rev. 13:18 (NIV)
Where am I headed? Why do we spend so much time celebrating the holidays, even integrating Saint Nick and the Easter Bunny, yet we avoid the hard texts that imply pending occurrences and consequences that could turn our Easter egg hunts into haunts! Pardon the drama, but one need read the entirety of Scripture.
Something diabolical was being attempted behind the scenes, while we as the children of God were protected by this child born to a woman, “snatched up to God and to his throne.” (Rev. 12:5). Yes, Bethlehem’s manger, shepherds watching their flocks by night were truly Hallmark moments, wrapping the gift of salvation through the birth of this innocent child, but those moments were not without violent intercession on our behalf. And, it would appear the struggle continues today, in some time warp where a thousand years seems as one day!
Yet, we continue in our daze, gathering in straight rows in our sanctuaries as if none of this were recorded, while tyrants reign, economies crumbles and the earth is reeling environmentally. We may have missed the dark side behind the Christmas story, while preoccupied with our “American dream?”
Please, my point is not that some wrath filled God is raining judgment upon the earth, but rather to simply raise the question that there could exist an enemy(ies) of our soul, and that current physical evidence of a global crisis might encourage us to reconsider the realities of the mysteries hidden in scriptures too often avoided in our preoccupation with success. Otherwise, we might simply return from faith to fatalism, rather than cherry picking the scriptures to justify our lifestyles?
“He who has an ear, let him hear.” (vs. 13:9)