Christmas Changes Everything

“His mercy extends to those who fear him, from generation to generation.” (Luke 1:50)

In C. S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the faun Mr. Tumnus explains that the land of Narnia is under the White Witch’s curse, so that it’s “always winter, but never Christmas.” Later in the story, when the Pevensie children encounter Father Christmas (Santa Claus to those of us on this side of the pond), they know that the curse is about to be broken—evil is about to be undone.

In our world, Christmas signals the beginning of the curse’s end as well. Though the entirety of creation had been marred and cracked with sin, the darkness began to be rolled back at Christmas. It all started with a manger in the tiny town of Bethlehem—the first outpost of heaven’s invasion of earth—and the light spreads wherever the gospel is preached and people turn from their sins to enter the kingdom of God.

It’s not the sort of invasion that comes with bombs and tanks. The decisive battle took place on a hill outside of Jerusalem, where the Son of God died to pay the price for our sin. But the cross would not have been possible without the manger, and so it is on the hinge of Christmas that history first bends.

Jesus’ mother, Mary, is among the first to get a glimpse at what’s about to happen. “He has brought down rulers from their thrones but has lifted up the humble,” she sings. “He has filled the hungry with good things but has sent the rich away empty” (Luke 1:52-53). Though we are still waiting for God’s kingdom to come in its fullness, Christmas has changed everything—and Mary recognizes it. As we celebrate Jesus’ birth this year, let’s remember what the manger means: every broken thing will be made new.

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