Every manger scene should have little figurines of Herod’s soldiers lurking in the background. The Christmas story is not a Kinkade painting, with no hint of trouble anywhere at all. The incarnation and birth of Christ came about to fix a huge mess, like what we saw in Newtown CT last Friday. It is a potent reminder of our fall into sin and the resulting devastation of mankind.
We like to say that Jesus is the reason for this season, and He is. But why did He come? The reason He came was to enter into our chaos and catastrophe, to take it all to hell, and to return with life and peace and joy.
The chaos and catastrophe is the result of our sin. I haven’t heard the backstory of the CT perpetrator yet, but we can be certain that sin has been a part of the story, reaping these consequences. And sin is part of our story, too. We have been the cause of conflict and strife in our own ways. Perhaps we have not sought to kill Jesus like Herod did, but we often pursue pleasure like Herod. Perhaps we aren’t tyrants desperately clinging to power, but our every sin tries to dethrone Jesus. Perhaps we have not personally given our okay to kill children like Herod, but our Supreme Court has. And we put ourselves before God and others with our every sin. Jesus came to forgive the repentant, judge the wicked, and fix this huge mess.