I attended a funeral a few years ago for a dear old lady who was rather like a grandmother to me. Something stopped me in my tracks when I entered the sanctuary. I heard laughter. Not just one or two laughs, but scattered laughter throughout the room that rang up to the lofty ceiling. I buckled up for what I knew was going to be a rare funeral indeed. Sure enough, despite the tears (and lots of those), the hour was filled with smiles and laughter and boisterous stories and vigorous song.
That funeral came to mind again this week, when my pastor told me that my nativity scene was broken. He said everything was in its place–the wise men, the shepherds, the angels, the animals and hay, Mary, Joseph, and Jesus–but it was missing a key character. You can imagine my surprise when he said it needed a dragon perched on top of the barn.
My nativity scene is fixed now. The kids found the gnarliest dragon we have in the house and placed it where it belongs. It’s peering down on the infant Jesus who came to go Mano y Mano with that dragon.
This picture is true to Scripture: “And the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to give birth, to devour her Child as soon as it was born. She bore a male Child who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron. And her Child was caught up to God and His throne”(Revelations 12:4-5).
And that’s what reminded me of the laughing funeral. The reason all those folks were laughing was because they knew the dragon’s been defeated. The dragon’s best weapon, Death, has no sting. That’s why you should laugh at my funeral. Just think, the conquering started in a manger.
Whenever I pass the nativity scene in our house, I want to laugh. Not just because the dragon is rubberized and fluorescent orange, but because he doesn’t even realize that he’s staring his own defeat right in the eyes. That’s the best reason I can think of to say “Merry Christmas!”
Bring it! We shall laugh our way into eternity with God as our song.
And here’s a Christmas verse for you, dear friends: “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil” (I John 3:8).
Merry Christmas and to all a Good night!
[In case you wanted to know: I’m taking next week off to celebrate Christmas properly, by resting, but I’ve got a lot of great stuff primed and ready for the new year. Can’t wait to share it with you. Thanks for joining me on the journey.]