December 21, 2013

Him Brought a Sword

Our boy sat in the back seat sandwiched between his sister and the car salesman who quickly became known to our children as "Mr. Bill."  He was a little over three at the time, full of life and energy and manliness. Adorable in every way, but also a real handful who kept us on our toes since we never knew what he might say or do next.  He had quite a large vocabulary for such a little guy and could carry on a conversation with anyone no matter their age.  Some called him an old soul and I think the title was probably quite fitting. What a cutie he was.

It was January and we were shopping for a new family car.  It was time to trade in the mini-van and move up to a SUV.  (Something I was quite happy about because though our mini-van was practical and convenient with two little ones, it wasn't the most attractive mode of transportation.)  Our lively little boy had just gotten a toy sword for Christmas and it wasn't just any sword... it was Frodo's sword from "The Lord of the Rings".  Sting was its name and it was cool.  It was motion sensitive and lit up with flashing lights and made a woosh-clink-clank sound every time it moved.  To say that the boy loved that sword would be an understatement.  He was crazy about it, which in turn, made us a bit crazy because it was always in motion and therefore, always wooshing and clinking and clanking.

Our little guy at three with his fierce face, blanket cape, and one of his many dangerous swords.  
Oh what I would give to hold and squeeze that little rascal again!  That is, if I could catch him…

He had his sword with him that day as we test drove the SUV that would soon become ours and affectionately known by our family as "Trooper."  As always, the boy was ready for a good conversation and he didn't hold back when he bluntly asked the car salesman, "Mr. Bill, do you know Jesus?"  Of course, Mr. Bill was a bit taken back by his bold question and it took him a few seconds to answer.  "Well... Yes...  Yes, I do know Jesus," Mr. Bill cautiously replied to which our boy then immediately asked with passion and excitement, "Well, did you know that him didn't come to bring peace??  HIM BROUGHT A SWORD!!" and he waved his beloved sword in the air as it wooshed and clinked and clanked.  Everyone in the car burst out in laughter and once we composed ourselves, Mr. Bill explained that yes, he did know that Jesus didn't come just to bring peace, but he indeed brought a sword as well.

My heart smiles as I think back on that day and here at Christmastime I wonder if we hold on to that truth and remember why Jesus really came.  We sing about a silent night, a holy night, where all was calm and all was bright, but maybe we forget that the birth of Jesus was actually a brutal attack, a fierce invasion, on the kingdom of darkness.  Revelation 12 speaks of a woman, a dragon, a baby and a great war in heaven and on earth at his birth.  The coming of Jesus was just the beginning of what would in the end be his victory and our rescue.  That sweet baby, sent from God above, would grow to be a man who would lead us to the heart of the Father, destroy the powers of hell, and give his very life to set us free from the chains of sin and death.  Yes, Jesus did come to bring peace and we can have that peace through him, but he also came with a sword to deliver us from evil and set us free.  He came that we would have life and have it to the full.

My heart swells and my eyes fill with tears as I think about the beauty and mystery and power of his birth, his coming to this world.  But my heart also rejoices and waits and longs and hopes because I know he will return.  He will come again just as he said and that is just the most glorious news, the greatest gift of all.

The weary world rejoices.  

And watches and waits.  

For a new and glorious morn is still coming…

Jesus is coming again.

"And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me 
that you also may be where I am."
~John 14:3

"Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  
I did not come to bring peace but a sword." 
~Matthew 10:34

"Then you will experience God's peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus." 
~Philippians 4:7

"I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
~John 10:10

Merry Christmas from the Barker Family

May your Christmas season be filled with love, joy, and laughter, and most of all, hope.


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