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  • Sonya Leigh Anderson



Last night at dinner Felipe and Nils talked about angels and demons. Not our typical table talk. Both boys were animated, telling a story from theology class, and it must have been quite the story. Nils quoted somebody; he thought it might have been Francis Chan. If we could see everything going on in the spiritual world it would freak us out. And there at the table, just thinking about it, boys were freaking out already.

I don’t normally think of Christmas as a battle. My Christmas nostalgia tends toward meek and mild. As Felipe has pointed out more than once. Mom, you decorate sad. Which took me by surprise at first. Sad? He’s adamant. Apparently evergreen boughs and twinkling white lights do not communicate HAPPY to this teenaged boy. Two blocks away, those two houses blinking bright with every kind of color – now that’s a party! Point taken. And I can’t afford a total makeover, but we did include a trip to Menards for bright blue lights the night we trimmed the tree.

So alas. In less than 24 hours I’ve heard this message at least four different ways. Christmas was not a silent night. This morning, my Advent reading called it revolution. Mary and Zechariah, both, declaring it in song. Christmas is war.

I wonder. Not quite two weeks since Advent began – and so did my own private battle. It caught me off guard. Emotion I wasn’t expecting at my favorite time of year. Sad? A little. But something else, too. A wrestling inside. I talked to Kyle and listed reasons. Too much change. Lack of sunlight. Hormones (mine and theirs.) Television noise competing with carols. MomNo more Christmas music. Really?

All of the above, or none? We pray and we wonder. What’s going on where we can’t see this Christmas?

It’s true, I think. Christmas is war. A war over souls, and we’re on the brink. We can feel it. So Kyle and I pray harder and fight.

Over our front door hangs a sign. A reminder, and a promise:

Prov. 14

So there at the dinner table, boys freaking out, we let them in on our secret. Here in our home you are safe. Your Mom and your Dad – fearing God only. Your fortress with us is a refuge.

And we tell them this, too. We know the rest of the story. We know how this Christmas war ends.

We win.

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