Most of us know the Christmas story from the Biblical accounts in Matthew and Luke. Those of us who grew up watching the classic TV special “A Charlie Brown Christmas” likely remember Linus’ recitation of Luke 2.8-14:
And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
Did you know that there’s another version of the Christmas story in the Bible, one without shepherds and sheep, one that portrays what was most certainly not a silent night?
Our friend and mentor, Dr. Bob Lowery, points to the story in Revelation 12.1-5–yes, Revelation. Dr. Lowery suggests that this version written by the apostle John is “a PG-13, if not R-rated, rendering of the story.” John’s story doesn’t have lowing cattle and a straw-filled manger but instead has a fierce and terrible dragon, hungry for the flesh of a newborn baby.
Read Dr. Lowery’s meditation and see if your nativity scene needs a dragon, too. Here’s a photo of one of our nativity scenes with the dragon poised to snatch up the baby. (IMPORTANT: if you read to the end of the story, the baby wins.)