(Photo courtesy of Zelda Dominguez)
What Are You Seeking This Christmas?
By Zelda Dominguez
As we enter into the holiday season, for me, it is a bitter sweet time. Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays and everything that they stand for. But on one side of it are memories of my mother’s cancer diagnosis around Christmas, my mother in law passing away on December 24th, and now my Father in law who is dying in hospice. It brings a very somber veil over December.
On the flipside, at the same time a new baby was just born to our family that has brought indescribable joy. In years past I’ve celebrated a more traditional Christmas, but now in my life circumstances, like never before, I am staring into the face of death and life. Since I started this article my “second dad” passed away. Was it surreal… yes, but nevertheless, reality. He was a believer and his battle is over, and now with the Lord! Then there is this newborn bundle of joy, that we have been blessed with. He is such a gift from God.
This year, Christmas takes on such a clearer and deeper meaning. With caregiving for my parents the last year, and my husband just losing his dad, we have experienced obstacles, blessings and spiritual attacks. Let see what that has to do with the First Christmas .
Hardly ever do we consider that the purpose of Christmas has anything to do with spiritual warfare. But overcoming Satan is precisely what John declared was the mission of Christ’s ministry on earth: “For this purpose the Son of God was revealed, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (1 John 3:8b). Yes, the original Christmas is the inauguration of Jesus’ entry into this world to transfer us from the dominion of darkness and into God’s marvelous light. As I ponder, the first Christmas night, they were facing life and death also in so many ways.
I have to ask myself what am I seeking this holiday season? What is it that would make your holiday happy and satisfying? Are you going through something that it doesn’t even feel like Christmas? I’ve found myself in the past expecting and seeking family to be all together. Many times for me, my own false expectations set me up for disappointment. Is it the search for the right gift to give, or the receiving of the one you want? Do you seek a relationship? The trouble with all those things is they are only temporarily satisfying.
Back in the day there was this song by the Eurythmics that had a line that says, “Everyone is searching for something.” That statement is so true. From the baby who cries because he seeks his mother for security or nourishment, to a dying person who seeks, forgiveness, more time, or peace. From the beginning to the end of life, what people seek, is endless. What are you seeking?
Mary and Joseph were seeking shelter to give birth to Jesus, the shepherds were seeking a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger, Simeon sought a glimpse of the Messiah, the Magi were seeking the star, and Herod was seeking the child to kill him.
It was on a regular night that God in flesh appeared on earth to redeem mankind. Jesus the King of the Universe entered the territory of the “prince of this world” and began to take back territory from him. Satan’s attempts to destroy Jesus started around the time of his birth .Herod, jealous for his throne, ordered the slaughter of all the male children in the region aged two and under. The birth of Christ is (as John Eldredge wrote in “Wild at Heart”) the Great Invasion, a daring raid by the ruler of the forces of Good into the universe’s seat of evil. Spiritually speaking, this is no silent night. It is war, a spiritual battle. Behind the scenes is a deadly enemy….one of whom we rarely speak: Satan. Yet he is active, and involved.
“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, ‘Where is He who has been born King of the Jews? For we have seen His star in the East and have come to worship Him.’”
– Matthew 2:1-2
The Magi traveled for a year or more, which explains why they found Jesus in a house, not in a manger. The challenges they faced when they neared their destination offer some clues to the dark forces that targeted God’s Son from the time of his birth. Notice when Herod finds out of the possibility of another king being born he deceitfully charges the Magi to come back as soon as you find him, report to me, so that I too may go and worship him. The enemy is a deceiver, a liar, an accuser, and a murderer. I love the fact that as the Magi set out, When they saw the star, they were overjoyed. On coming to the house, they saw the child with his mother Mary, and they bowed down and worshiped him. The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.” They sought Jesus, found and worshiped him. Then warned by a dream not to go back to Herod to report, they chose to heed and return home another way.
God allows Satan to wreak havoc for a while longer. His time is short but he’s still prowling around like a roaring lion seeking who he may devour. I pray this season you seek Jesus. Seek the Lord while you can find him, Call on him now while He is near (Isaiah 55: 6). As we celebrate Christmas, therefore, we must also remember to be diligent in our faith, enduring and keeping the commands of the one true King.