The War On Christmas

Saturday, December 14, 2013
Listen to this devotional:
Listen while you read: "Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne"1 (Lyrics)

Luke 2:7 – And [Mary] gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. (NIV)

'Tis the season of peace and joy. It's Christmas! Yet the tranquility keeps getting interrupted by controversies over the tradition. Ban nativity crèches! Ban carols from our schools! Ban Christmas trees from public buildings! And there's been no end of backlashes.

I am baffled: How can a lowly infant of ancient times cause such a political and cultural battlefront? Why is there even a need to dispute over nativity icons in public spaces? In the Scriptures, no Christmas angel announced Jesus' birth in Caesar's courts. Angels didn't even visit the temple or tell the religious authorities about the glad tidings.

Instead, the angels visited some social outcasts — poor shepherds who were banned from the temple because they were too "defiled". Some distant foreigners received the news by a star. They eagerly set out on a long, dangerous journey through the desert to see this special Child. Yet when a nearby ruler, King Herod, heard, he feared that a rival king had been born in his territory. So he declared war on the Christ Child: He set out to annihilate all male infants — just to be sure … so he thought.

Mary's Boy Child was not glad tidings for everyone — especially for those who craved power and dominance.

Consider this: Jesus was born at the height of the Roman Empire. Today, we marvel over Rome's breathtaking symbols of power — their buildings, monuments, and so forth. On the downside, Rome's power and wealth were acquired by massive pillaging and genocide — bullying on the grandest scale. Even still, this supreme empire became the ideal model for power-hungry empires in future eras. Baby Jesus' arrival would not have been glad tidings for such zealous empire builders any more than it was for King Herod.

Does it not seem strange that any crèche or any Christmas feature appears in centres of power or wealth, or even creaturely comforts? After all, the Child was placed in a manger because there was no room for Him anywhere. And ever since that dark, quiet night, there has been no room for Him in many a heart.

Jesus came to bring peace and joy — not through symbols of either stately power or religious expression. He deployed neither sword nor crèche … but Himself.

As I see it, the real war on Christmas is not over its symbols, but over this Christ child. The real war zone is not in the courts, schools, or marketplaces, but in our own hearts. That is where He is either a threat to our ambitions and pride or a welcoming King of kings.

May the Spirit of the Christ child rule your heart with the comfort of peace and joy!


    O come to my heart, Lord Jesus;
    There is room in my heart for Thee.
    My heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus,
    When Thou comest and callest for me.
           – Emily E. Elliott

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About the author:

Diane Eaton <>
Paisley, Ontario, Canada

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Many thanks!!

    So true Diane.

    EXCELLENT!! Well said!

    This is all so true, unfortunately!!

    What a beautiful message for us on the Saturday devotional! Thank you so much.

    Thank you for this beautiful reflection. May God bless you and yours, and Merry Christmas!

    Well said, Diane! and read just when I needed to … guided, I am sure, by this Holy Child.

    Thank you Diane.
    May you and all you love, have a very Peaceful Christmas and Healthy 2014.

    Diane – What a powerful message. It is strong and makes perfect sense! Thank you for delivering it. And Merry Christmas to you and yours.

    Dear Diane,
    Thank you for your Spiritual and Peaceful War on Anti-Christmas.
    Keep writing.

    Wonderful! Couldn’t agree more! I sometimes get tired of hearing about the so-called “war on Christmas”. How right you are. The battle is in people’s hearts, not the public square. Well written.

    One of the most heartfelt devotions we have read. Thank you. Along with our prayer that you and yours find this Christmastime season as joyously intense as we. May God continue to bless you ‘real good’.

    Hi Diane – Thank you for addressing this ongoing War on Christmas in the secular world – especially for the insightful thought that the perceived threat is not “out there”, but in our hearts.
    Blessings in Christ.

    Dear Diane
    Wow, what a super interesting, thoughtful and strong message. I will be thinking a long time about it. It is a big help and seems inspired by the Holy Spirit to me. I can’t help but forward it now to some of my freinds and family.

    Dear Diane:
    Thank you for your words of wisdom today. How true it is that symbols of a seemingly worthless babe still cause fear today. Who else holds such power? I am so glad our Jesus does.
    Blessings on you and yours.

    Thanks for an excellent insight into the present furor over what our “governments” are making politically correct. As you say, it is our hearts that tell the true meaning of Christmas, not what comes out of our mouths.
    Merry Christmas to you and yours, and blessings of the season.

    Thank you for a wonderful worded rebuttal for all the non Christian people who are offended by Christmas. Non Christian people feel they have a right to speak up about not wanting to celebrate special Christian holidays, and prayers at public meetings. Now is the time to sing louder about all that our Saviour does for us each day. Merry Christmas,

    Dear Diane
    I enjoyed you devotional and especially the paragraph where you say the place of Jesus is in our hearts. There can Be thousands of sculptures, paintings, and other representations of Him but the one in our hearts is the only place where it counts.
    Do have a blessed Christmas Diane.

    Thank you Diane,
    Wonderful encouraging words.
    We live in dire times. Sad that so few have power to erase the good and replace with commercialism.
    My father rain down blessing of health, happiness & prosperity all the days of your life until HE gives you your last earthly blessing when HE lifts you by the hand and carries you home to reside with HIM for eternity.
    MERRY CHRISTMAS Diane, to you & yours!!
    (Texas, USA)

    Hello Diane:
    Regarding your devotional, “The War On Christmas,” it’s not just a matter of banning crèches and carols and decorated trees. There’s something far more important than that.
    You questioned how a lowly infant could cause such a political and cultural battlefront. Herod feared Jesus would be a threat to his kingship – that’s political. Committed infanticide throughout the nation – that’s cultural.
    As long as Jesus was in the background there was no such upheaval. But he came to earth to proclaim the kingdom of God, and that raised the political ire of the religious hierarchy. Just as Herod feared being replaced, so the priests feared they would lose their position (John 11:48). Jesus’ crucifixion ended all that, until recently.
    As you correctly stated, “Mary’s Boy Child was not glad tidings for everyone – especially for those who craved power and dominance.” It’s the same today. There’s a church, calling itself Christian, which craves power and dominance, and satan uses it to fight against God’s holy days.
    I question your statement that Jesus came to bring peace and joy.
    You concluded by stating, “As I see it, the real war on Christmas is not over its symbols, but over the Christ child.” But I see it as part of God’s war with satan’s fight against the holy days, and anything else that is truly of God.

    Right On! Diane, Very Good Points Clearly Made.
    Thank You.

    This is a most powerful message, which I wholeheartedly agree with.
    May you and your family have a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

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