This may come as a shock to you, but the real Christmas story is not about love, peace, harmony, and gathering with family around a crackling fire. The real Christmas story is actually about conflict. It always has been, and it always will be.
One of the unexpected passages in the Bible that deals with the subject of Christmas is found in Revelation 12, where we have the picture of a woman being pursued by a powerful dragon who seeks her death. As she is preparing to give birth to a child, the dragon hovers over her, wanting to destroy the baby. The woman is a picture of Israel, the child is Jesus Christ, and the dragon is Satan.
That is Christmas from a heavenly perspective, and it gives us the big picture of what was really happening when God sent His Son into the world. The devil opposed it and wanted to stop His birth. And really, you can take that story and see how it is still in play today.
Hostility toward Christmas seems to escalate a little more every year. More nativity scenes are being removed from public places, Christmas carols have been prohibited in many places, and atheists have put up billboards attacking the Christian faith. What’s more, many today don’t even want the word Christmas used. These are all symptomatic of the conflict of Christmas.
Jesus did not come to bring a mind-numbing peace on Earth that is devoid of truth. The message to the shepherds on the night Christ was born was, “Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased” (Luke 2:14).
What does that mean? It means the only way we will have peace on Earth is when we are pleasing to God.