Don’t worry, this post it not going to kill the Christmas cheer! I’ve been reflecting on the lyrics of well-known Christmas carol “Silent night”. Who knows exactly what that night was like. I suppose we can imagine that the night was reasonably “silent” or “peaceful”. Christ was, after all, the only ever perfect child!
But Revelation chapter 12 and even the prophecies in Isaiah show us that the “Silent Night” is only the tip of the iceberg of what was really happening. Beyond the superficial layer of the physical realm lies the spiritual, where angels can be seen and where our perspectives on Christmas are completely altered. Let me roughly summarise. Israel, like a woman in labour is going through the pangs of childbirth, but not with any child. Israel, the image of the people of God, is giving birth to the Son of God. Meanwhile Satan (enter fiery scary music), appearing as a dragon in Revelation, to snatch the baby, to devour the Son of God. Not so silent night for Satan.
Meanwhile angels were everywhere. (No, really, they were everywhere. ) We sing about them at Christmas with good cause, they are key part of the Christmas story. Throughout Revelation 12 we see that the angels are raging a mighty war against Satan and his angels, because Satan is waging war on the woman and her Son and the rest of her children. So the angels are fighting for God and for us. Clearly not such a silent night for the angels.
My point is this. All was not calm. All was not bright. Underneath the Silent Night, there was a Violent Night, battling to make a way for Our Redeemer Jesus Christ to come into the world. So yes, we can “sleep in heavenly peace”, because He fought to come into the world, that we may have the ultimate peace: reconciliation with Him.