This is the sermon I preached for our Christmas Eve Vigil.
There’s a reason why we angels have to start off with “Do not fear!” whenever we appear to someone. We angels are warriors. We are a heavenly host, an army from heaven that makes war against the demonic forces. And our primary weapon is the Word of God. That’s right: we are armed and dressed for combat, but simply by being messengers we eradicate the Enemy.
I remember so long ago when The War—The War of Creation, that is—first started. I remember the time before The War of Creation, too. The Creator made his angelic host along with the rest of Creation in the beginning, but I remember when Man and Woman were first created. What a joyous event! God had crowned the first King and Queen of Creation! God gave Man and Woman a special status. They are anointed as his royal Kings and Queens. It was on Man and Woman that God imprinted his image. They would rule as the image of God for the rest of Creation. The Almighty’s Servant Kings and Servant Queens! And he gave them their orders: rule over the Creator’s Creation with a dominion as our loving Creator would have dominion and multiply the Kings and Queens who would carry out the Creator’s dominion. What a glorious time it was! Heaven and earth, together, in peace. And all Creation reflected the glory of God because it was all as he, the Creator, had designed it!
But that’s when The War of Creation began. Our brother, Lucifer—that Dragon—took the form of a serpent. That traitor turned on his Creator and tried to make himself the ruler of God’s Creation. Our Lord would later say that he saw Satan fall from heaven like lightning. I was part of that battle. A third of our host joined Lucifer, and as that traitor tempted the King and Queen in the garden, at the same time he made war in heaven against the Almighty and our heavenly host. We routed them. Every last one of those traitors. And they did fall to earth like lightning. At first, it seemed like we would win. But then it happened. Lucifer presented the fruit of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil to the Queen. How I hoped that Man would rise up to redeem creation, to prevent Creation’s rebellion, to keep the Almighty’s earthly domain loyal to its Creator! That was Man’s very job! Of course, he would carry out his duty as the Servant King! But I watched in horror as there, before my eyes, Man failed. They are the fruit. They disobeyed Yahweh, the Creator Lord. The Creator’s domain had entered into rebellion. Creation was renegade. Our Lord’s world was hostile territory. My Servant King and Servant Queen were now my enemies.
But our Lord himself entered his stolen, enemy world and spoke with the Traitor King and Queen himself. He told them he promised a Christ, a new anointed one, a Son of the Woman, who himself would be bruised but also crush the head of Lucifer, the serpent, the dragon. This Christ would come from the royal lineage of the Man and the Woman, and he himself would be a new Servant King, to one day do what the Man failed to do: to redeem creation, to end Creation’s rebellion, to make the Almighty’s domain loyal to its Creator again.
And how we angels have waited and longed for the coming of that Christ. But our Lord, through the ages, always remembered his promise. He reminded his Renegade Creation again and again of this Christ to come. He called the Christ a “Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” He would rule Creation as he himself is ruled by the Creator, as the first Man, Adam, was supposed to. He would bring the Renegade Creation supreme comfort instead of righteous destruction. He would be mighty so that the Creation, the Traitor Kings and Traitor Queens, wouldn’t even be expected to pledge perfect loyalty to him first, because he would pledge perfect loyalty to them. He would provide for, preserve, and restore his people and his territory and then afterward seize his enemies and make his kingdom greater. This Christ would be as an eternal father in his kingdom because he will draw and invite Creation to himself as a father does his children. And this Christ would be the Prince of Peace who wields peace in proportion to what his Creation suffered.
This Christ would make the Creator’s world abundant again. He would break oppression and tear away abuse. He would bring dominion in the image of God instead of the domination of the Dragon. He would multiply his Kingdom. He would bring freedom, not sin. This Christ King would pay the punishment for his own citizens’ treason! His government would be upon his shoulder. Not in Syria, Asia, India, or some other place in the world,” but rather, “on his shoulder.” So that where he is, there is everything. It would not be bound to any place, time, or person except to himself alone. His kingdom would be a kingdom of grace, a kingdom of help, a kingdom of comfort for traitor sinners. The Christ would bear his kingdom upon his shoulder, and yet it shall be present in all the world. For he shall reign in all places through his Good News.
That was the Christ, the Anointed One, that we angels brought message of throughout the ages. That was our warfare, skirmishes and battles with devils in the hostile Creation, fighting by bringing into Renegade Creation the Good News of the Christ who would reign. And now, finally, today, we engage in the most pivotal combat operation to date. We deployed near where the Christ had just been born, to some shepherds out in a field, keeping watch over their flock by night. I went out first, alone, and ambushing the shepherds. “Fear not!” I could see it on their faces. The shepherds were filled with terror. But this time it was not because they saw a fearsome, winged, warrior angel before them. No, they were afraid because the glory of the Lord shone around me.
The Christ, ancient and promised, was the one that Traitor Kings and Traitor Queens called the enemy. Sinners hate Saviors. The glory of the Lord that shone around me was from him, the Christ who had been born. The terrifying glory of his presence could be seen. The Christ had invaded earth, and was making his first strike in The War of Creation. That was the glory of the Lord that struck terror into the hearts of those poor, traitor shepherds. I had entered ground zero of this War. I engaged the enemy.
Demons, who had come to meet the heavenly host in combat, were shrieking and scratching to get away as I continued the assault with my message: “Behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people!” I had the privilege of announcing the end of The War of Creation before it even ended. I got to proclaim the Christ’s victory before he even brought that victory about! The Christ had been born! The war was as good as won! Creation had been claimed back by it’s Creator through the Christ. There was no more reason to fear! The attack reached its target, and the message changed the shepherds. The Gospel was doing its work. Already, the shepherds’ fear was turning into joy. The traitors were being reinstated as citizens.
I continued the attack. This was the big one, the bombshell: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” It was heaven’s battlecry against hell: a confirmation for Creation that the Creator has come as a creature. That today, in this country, a Savior, the Christ, Yahweh, is born. That was the best-kept secret. The grand surprise. The Trojan Horse. The attack that no one, not even Lucifer—that dragon—himself saw coming! The Christ was not just another human creature. Yahweh himself became Man. Yahweh promised himself as the Woman’s offspring. Yahweh himself was the Christ! It was the plan along; the battle strategy that would win The War of Creation: it was an invasion of the Creator into creation, the decisive advance in the great struggle for the cosmos.
I completed the assault with the final part of the message: “And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger.” The Traitor King, Caesar, trying to demonstrate all of Rome’s grandeur, had just before this battle carried out a census. Another weak attempt by the enemy to lay claim to God’s Creation as a rival ruler! But the Christ, the Lord of heaven, descended to earth in lowliness and humility. The Christ took on the image of God by taking on swaddling cloths and lying in a manger. Jesus, the Christ, came as a human baby to be the new Servant King! It was The War of Creation’s great joke on Lucifer the Dragon!
And suddenly there was with me a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Jesus, the Christ, the new Servant King, finally brings peace to heaven and earth. He would bring an end to The War of Creation. Heaven and earth would finally be joined together in peace. He would lead a new Kingdom from within Renegade Creation, a people he claims and wins by his grace. They would be his new people, the Creator’s new creatures and his new Servant Kings and Servant Queens.
The skirmish was over. The shepherds had been won. The devils and demons were in full retreat. But in the distance, under the bright Bethlehem star, I could see the great Dragon, the Enemy, Lucifer, roaring over the stable of the newborn Christ. The Dragon would pursue our Lord down to Egypt. He would chase after him back to Galilee. He would do battle against him one-on-one in the desert wilderness wielding the same weapon of temptation that took down the first King and Queen. And, finally, after 33 years of warfare, the Christ would let the Dragon win. It was the Great Plan. It was Yahweh’s promise spoken after the first battle back in the Garden. Jesus, the Christ, would let the Dragon slay him up upon the cross.
We left the Dragon to his roaring, and we left the baby Christ to fight his war. I ascended with the heavenly host back up to heaven. The next time I would be on earth would be after the final battle takes place, after the cross, after the Christ’s death. I would come back to move the stone to make way for the King. The newborn King. The Servant King, who would win The War of Creation from a grave by being born a second time.