Since last year, we’ve started putting a red dragon in one of our manger scenes—that’s it in the photo above. Why? The apostle John puts a dragon in his Christmas narrative in Revelation 12.1-5:
A great 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 its heads. Its 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 it might devour her child the moment he was born. She gave birth to a son, a male child, who “will rule all the nations with an iron scepter.” And her child was snatched up to God and to his throne. (NIV)
Our friend and mentor Bob Lowery has done this for years. Read his essay, “Christmas on Patmos,” and you’ll want to add a red dragon to your nativity scene as well.
Side note: this year our dragon keeps finding himself placed on his back some distance away from the baby Jesus. Evidently our girls have been doing this to indicate the dragon’s defeat. Our children understand what Christmas is about.