A great and wondrous sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. She was pregnant and cried out in pain as she was about to give birth. Then another sign appeared in heaven: an enormous red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns on his heads. His tail swept a third of the stars out of the sky and flung them to the earth. The dragon stood in front of the woman who was about to give birth, so that he might devour her child the moment it was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who will rule all the nations with an iron scepter. And the child was snatched up to God and to his throne. – Revelation 12:1-5 (NIV)

*   *   *

The Nativity stories we hear repeated and preached each Christmas are the ones in Matthew and Luke. This one, however, with its cosmic scope and fiery combat, is largely overlooked.

There’s no time in this vision for Magi or gift-giving. We need to act quickly. We need to be vigilant. And we need to remember the safety of our Savior.

*   *   *

O! come, come away, haste out of Babylon, while the Deliverer is near you, so will he turn back your Captivity like Rivers in the South, and conduct you to Canaan, the Land of everlasting Rest, where Praises shall spring up in your Souls, to the Glory of his Name, even to all Eternity. (Elizabeth Bathurst, 1655?-1685)

 

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