“I Must Find a Way to Stop Christmas From Coming”
I stopped by the library yesterday and picked up a Christmas story to read to my four year old son. Shannon had mentioned that we should try to expose him to some of the Christmas classics. So, I remember seeing a Jim Carey movie a couple years ago and I thought I would read Dr. Seuss’s classic, The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, to Kameron.
Needless to say, he loved it and I had to read it through twice last night. The Grinch is a grumpy creature who feels no happiness and has no joy in his heart. He is deeply envious when he sees the Who’s of Whoville preparing to celebrate the birth of Christ. So, he devises a devious, dastardly plan to destroy the season by declaring his intent to “stop Christmas from coming.”
During the course of events the Grinch realizes that Christmas is much more than just Christmas trees, wreaths, cookies and lights. If Christmas is simply a babe in a manger then we’ve missed it because no babe in a manger ever saved a lost soul. The babe grew, he lived a perfect life and thirty-three years later he hung on a cross so that we might experience salvation full and free.
A mistake my high school apologetics students often make is attributing to Satan some of the attributes that belong to God alone. Satan is not omnipresent (being in all places at all times), he is not omnipotent (all powerful), nor is he omniscient (knowing all things). Satan only knew that Christ would come and that he would be empowered to save mankind from destruction because he was told, he learned it from the Old Testament and the voices of the prophets. He believed it.
So, Satan, like the Grinch, set about to “find a way to stop Christmas from coming.” The first prophecy of the coming Messiah is found in Genesis 3:15 “And I will put enmity between you and the woman and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel." Satan went on a mission to destroy the family (Christmas) tree. He tempted Cain to kill Abel but his plan was foiled with the birth of Seth, who replaced Abel. All of mankind descended through Seth by way of Noah. Satan succeeded in corrupting the hearts of all of mankind and God in his anger destroyed them with a flood except for one family who managed to preserve man because they lived in righteousness.
Satan sent world-wide famine but God had Joseph in place. Satan employed Pharoah to kill all the Israelite males but God had Moses in place. Satan recruited the wicked queen, Athalia, to destroy the Davidic line by murdering all her grandsons and introducing the worship of Baal but God had Joash in place. Satan construed a plan to eliminate all the Jews during the reign of Xerxes but God had Esther and Mordecai in place.
In order for Christmas to happen Jesus had to be born of a virgin. Satan tried to steal Christmas by tempting Joseph to make a public spectacle of Mary but he chose not to. I’m sure he was tempted to have relations with her before their actual marriage but he refused. Satan tried in every way to throw a cog in the wheel. There was no room in the inn. Herod was determined to find the child and destroy him but Joseph obeyed the voice of the angel and swept his family away to seclude themselves in Egypt until the danger had passed.
Satan’s attempts to steal Christmas had all failed. Dr. Seuss writes this line in his classic, “He Hadn’t stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME! Somehow or other, it came just the same!”
There was a birth, there was a perfect life, there was a death, there was a resurrection, there was an ascension. Just as surely, there will be a second coming and an earthly kingdom to parallel the spiritual kingdom and these will evolve into an eternal kingdom and Satan will mull over it for all of eternity, “IT CAME! Somehow or other, it came just the same!”