This Christmas I Want To See Jesus Riding On His Horse

As I sat back in my recliner last night my four-year old son, Josiah, approached me. I was easing the pain of a newly inflamed slipped disc that has seemed to be playing the bongos on my sciatic nerve the past couple days. Almost everyone has noticed I’m walking with a sizable limp, less like a 29-year-old young man and more like an elderly arthritic woman with a plastic hip.

The daily news blared in our living room. As talking heads heralded shootings, fiscal cliffs, and injustices worldwide my little boy approached me. He was holding his “action” bible, an impressive work with DC comic illustrations peppered among Old and New Testament commentary.

Action-Bible-190x290

“Daddy, I want to see Jesus riding on his horse.”

It was from the Revelation portion, the end of story: a conquering warrior King wielding a sword riding atop his white horse while leading an angel army into a fierce battle with a snarling multi-headed red dragon.

“I do too, baby,”

I said as I took the book and strained to lift him up to my lap.

My son doesn’t understand the weight of recent news. And he has been taught the wonder of the incarnation, that Ancient-of-Days-arriving-into-human-flesh-Christmas-mystery (Isaiah 9:6).

But an innocent infant who poops himself and needs his mom doesn’t quite resonate with a wonder filled boy who sleeps with his Transformers and Spider Man toys.

He already has a baby brother.

He wants to know a conquering Cowboy King with a tattoo down His thigh who slays bad guys and dragons (Revelation 19:16).

I do too.

May our baby “Christmas Jesus” never be separated from the Sovereign one who wins forevermore. As we behold the nursing babe in cave, may we also see the horrifying cross, the breathtaking resurrection, and the only King who fights and conquers every injustice on our behalf.

Forget the “war on Christmas”, Christ is a fierce warrior who is well able to defend Himself.

And in a similar way, may our prayer this season be to our heavenly Father:

“Daddy, I want to see Jesus riding on his horse.”

Bryan Daniels

The Reign of Christ at the Foodcourt

Overt public displays of Christ’s rule (present or future) are not a common form of expression during Christmastime.

Even when Jesus is mentioned in a public setting during Christmas it is more of a nod to his beatitude teaching or maybe to the precious baby in a dingy manager. The Messiah as an effeminate university professor or a blubbering babe who needs his butt frequently wiped doesn’t necessarily bring us trembling to our knees in awe. At least not if we want to keep him merely a man or babe.

I promise, this is not a “War on Christmas” rant. I don’t think it should shock the church when people feel more comfortable with a jolly fat man who gives them presents than with a bloody bludgeoned God-man who gives them forgiveness for their sins. The more glib our cultural icons the safer we feel in our self-justified sinful state. A sword is not meant to feel too pleasant when it crashes down on our relationships, dreams, plans and life as we know it (Matthew 10:34).

That’s why I am so intrigued by the recent resurgence of interest toward Handel’s Messiah this season. Messiah‘s lyrics are thoroughly biblical and glorious as they depict King Jesus and His incarnation, suffering, resurrection and coronation in song. It is a God centered Christ exalting bible saturated and emotionally moving piece of choral art.

In this video, a “Christmas Food Court Flash Mob,” busts out in the “Hallelujah” chorus portion of Messiah. The crowd seems a bit surprised but mostly pleased by this seemingly random performance. I enjoyed seeing the banner of Christ raised in this unlikely setting. The tribute made me long for the future reign of our perfect King, where every knee shall bow and every tongue confess His glories (Phill 2:11-12). Christ is alive and well, and He can get His glory, even in a mall food court where materialism is king.

Enjoy!