1. It’s the single-most pivotal event in history. Some may think Easter holds that place, but Easter is actually an extension of Christmas.

    I’m one of those who say that Easter is the most pivotal event in history, and I’d say that rather than Easter being an extension of Christmas, Christmas is the beginning of what would become Easter. The climax of a scene is not an “extension” of its opening lines, even if it follows inevitably from them. However, I would certainly say that the fact that is centrally celebrated at Christmas—the Incarnation—is the pivotal fact of history, since it includes birth, death, and resurrection.

    • Jonathan, I’ve made a case for Easter myself, and certainly wouldn’t argue with you. I guess I see the Incarnation more as a whole than I have before. I’ve thought some years about the fact that there would be no Easter if there were no Christmas, and I’ve thought about Christmas holding no significance without Easter. But this year I got this image of the whole package–the working out of God’s plan of redemption for which He’d prepared down through the generations. And when Jesus made his appearance, His infant cries mingled with the shouts of angels saying Glory to God in the highest, in a grand declaration: It’s begun.


  2. Keanan Brand says:

    Good post!
    I like how many Christmas celebrations in recent years have included not only the story of the Advent but also the truth of the Crucifixion and Resurrection. If Christmas marks the beginning, then Easter marks the end (the goal). They make a complete story. And yet the Story is still being told.

  3. Thanks, Keanan. Yes, I see the Advent season and the Passion as bookends, though it’s not actually the beginning or the end. Christ was foreknown before the foundations of the world, Peter tells us, and of course we wait His return. So there’s much before Jesus took that first step on earth with skin on, and there’s much after His resurrection, both in His church and in the world, leading to His return. And the completion of that chapter of God’s eternal story.  😉


  4. Bob Menees says:

    I John 3:8 tells gives us another reason for the season: The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil’s work.
    Satan is God’s most formidable enemy, and that makes the devil our worst adversary, having easy sway over the hearts of men. To destroy his dominion, God became a baby (as if that evened the odds), lived holy, died and rose. Our Emmanuel conquered the one who had power over death. Somehow, Satan should be in the nativity scene, wringing his hands.

    • Bainespal says:

      Satan is God’s most formidable enemy

      This is probably a completely pointless question, but I wonder, can we say for certain that Satan is really God’s most formidable enemy?  First of all, can any enemy truly be “formidable” to almighty God?  Does the devil even pose a little bit of a threat to God, or is God so sovereign that the devil wouldn’t have been able even to bother God in the slightest way imaginable, unless God had chosen to descend and suffer with humanity?  Secondly, how can we know what enemy God considers to be the most formidable?  Does it say in the Bible that God is more worried about the devil than about human depravity, or anything else?

      • Bob Menees says:

        Agreed. God has no real foes. But relative to every other created creature, Satan exercises the most power for evil. He orchestrated the rebellion in heaven and became the prince of this world. The prophecy of his defeat was first made in Genesis and last in Revelation. Hell was made for Satan and his followers.
        Our main battle isn’t against flesh and blood but against spiritual powers. If God doesn’t intervene (the Holy Spirit), we are easy prey to Satan’s wiles. I believe Satan is bound now (limits set on his power – amillennial view), allowing the gospel to spread throughout the world. When he is loosed, then the full power of Satan will be seen and felt. The only hope of relief will be in the second coming of Jesus Christ.
        But is God worried? No. Satan is just the antagonist in His divine story for the redemption of mankind.

  5. […] I’ve argued otherwise) was the first in a series of central, pivotal (as Rebecca Miller argued yesterday), utterly unique events. Christmas remembers the beginning of “the turning of the […]

What do you think?