When it comes to the Christmas story many of us would be at a loss to describe it in any way that does not involve shepherds, a manger…
…you know the scene surrounding the event at and around Bethlehem.
But of course, there is another way to see the events we all cherish that in no way diminish the truthfulness of the nativity.
And that way was and is described beautifully by St. John the Evangelist.
Bringing us to the heights of heaven in Revelation 12,
…he describes a vision whereby a woman,
…crowned with 12 stars and the moon under her feet…
…is about to give birth to the child who will rule with a rod of iron (a title found for the Messiah in Psalm 2).
A dragon too,
…is standing ready to devour the child when it is born,
…but when it is unsuccessful it must turn its attention to other children.
Add to all of this that the Sacred text declares ‘and war broke out in heaven,’ and we are reminded yet again that…
…although Christmas brings with it a silent night, it has always brought about a battle as well.
Now remember as we read along in the Book of Revelation that we are very often witnesses to a polyvalent presentation of events…
…meaning of course, that symbols and imagery can represent more than one reality at a time.
And here, in chapter 12 of that same book we see this on display quite nicely.
For while the dragon is clearly the ancient serpent,
…the devil, and the deceiver of the whole world,
…it is equally thought provoking that he may stand for Herod as well.
And while it is clear to any student of the Old Testament that the woman bringing forth the Messiah must be Daughter Israel,
…it is equally understandable and obvious that the mother of the Messiah is Mary.
WHY ARE WE DOING ALL OF THIS?
Because as we engage in the celebrations and memories of a birth that affected humanity two thousand years ago in Bethlehem;
…we have to remember (and St. John is there to remind us);
…that our Saviour came to us against and in spite of the will of many.
I’ll see you tomorrow.
in Christ, patrick