Tamára Lunardo

Author & Editor

Thursday

23

December 2010

9

COMMENTS

When a Baby Means War

Written by , Posted in faith, Uncategorized

It’s the time of year when I’m forced to think of Jesus not as a grown man dying on a Roman cross or as an intercessor pleading my sorry case at the heavenly throne but as a newborn. Images and stories and songs of His birth make me ask, “What does it mean that He was a baby?”

I have seen a culture’s answer. That He was a baby– and held fast in time in our minds as that baby– means He is safe and sweet and pure. It means He is holdable, manageable, tame. Even many of my non-Christian friends can stomach a story of a new baby that makes people feel warm at its telling.

I have seen a church’s answer. That He was a baby– and quickly wrested from His cradle and held to His cross in our minds– means He is sacrificial and gory and slain. It means He is lamenting, grieving, guilt-bearing.

And I think some of these things are true. But I’ve grown dissatisfied with the disparate pictures each answer offers because neither seems full. As I thought how I might more truthfully hold Him in mind and heart this season, I came across a new Christmas song, and it has made all the difference.

As soon as I began listening to Dustin Kensrue’s “This Is War,” I was struck by the powerful instrumentation. The gentle piano and stringed instruments of traditional Christmas music were replaced here by pounding drums and electric strings, and, combined with the unusual title, I could tell at once that this was going to be a different kind of Christmas song. Not calm, not still; alive with power.

Right away, too, his voice– coarse but melodic– grabbed me, and although I realize the true meaning of Christmas isn’t entirely about sexy voices, I think this particular voice in this particular song hints at that missing meaning of Jesus as baby–  beauty in grit.

We think of the new Baby bringing light; we think of the risen Savior bringing life. But this song makes me see that He brings light and life by bringing not a warm, generic peace, but a fierce, targeted war. The baby brings war on evil, and its spoils are light. The baby brings war on sin, and its spoils are life.

We sing songs about a baby of whom angels sing, but in this song, Dustin Kensrue sings also about a baby whom demons fear. And I love that image because it lets me see Jesus in full. A baby whom demons fear.

  • http://windowsandpaperwalls.wordpress.com Windows and Paper Walls

    Another great one, T.

    And bonus points for the awesome title. 🙂

    Merry Christmas, my friend! Hope it’s a wonderful day.

  • http://melindatodd.com Mel

    Oh such beauty in this song! I LOVED it and have never heard it before! I loved reading your post, it’s very poignant and true. We like things to be warm and fuzzy this time of year.

    ♥ Mel
    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

    • http://tamaraoutloud.wordpress.com Tamara

      I’m so glad you listened to the song. I am in love with it!

  • http://ayoungmomsmusings.blogspot.com/ Young Mom

    Yes! It drives me crazy that all of the literature our church has had lying around during advent basically say “yeah yeah, at Christmas we remember that Jesus was born as a baby, but the only important thing is that he died and was ressurected!”. I feel like the incarnation gets pushed aside, and it is so important!!

  • http://www.carusophotography.com/blog Jay

    Loved this.

  • http://carriedaway143.wordpress.com Carrie Marino

    So spot on. Somewhere we learned to be “proper, “lady-like,” “agreeable,” and in that “lesson,” we learned to hand over our power, our passion, and our purpose. Our Holy Purpose is Joy, and Creating, in the likeness of the Father, expressions of his Love. We Are Expressions of His Love, when we break free from our past “lessons,” and let Joy take the wheel. We were given minds to think, and called to be “in the world, but not of the world.” Christians should be interacting with society, presenting their contrast for the world’s relief. (Notice, this is not judging the world’s beliefs, but understanding their source [fear, as you noted], and compassionately showing them a more Natural way.) This is right in line with the audio blog post I have planned for today. Friends are never far away! I love you, Tamara, even though we’ve lost physical touch, in pursuit of Life. I think we both did just fine. 😉

  • http://junevintage.squarespace.com Heather

    The song was beautiful… And I agree that we miss the miracles and purpose of the story of Christmas {or that the world sees the nativity scene and misses the cross…} However, I really struggle with the symbolism in war. My husband had to walk away from the video because of his PTSD from serving in combat. He had to walk away because he can’t stop thinking of the images of Iraq {the violence, the innocent victims, the devastation of life}. War against sin is most certainly raging: internally and on a worldly scale. But I get nervous when the Church begins to use excuses that we use in {real, earthly} war, namely, that we are “justified” for our actions {i.e. God hates sin so I show no grace towards sinners.} In war, “justified” and the pride of moral superiority is a fine line… We don’t want to be moral relativists {pacivists, if that is not too cliche!} but I just seem to hear a lot of talk lately {in other places} about being AGAINST everything and strategizing on how to combat XY or Z sin…we seem to have “righteous anger” towards this and that but no call of action towards actually doing anything positive or constructive according to the Great Commission.
    {A friend posted the link to your blog on fB and I am glad she did! I will stick around!}

  • http://tcpritchard.wordpress.com Tommy

    Awesome song! I have a new favorite!

  • Mom

    “a baby whom demons fear”
    So thankful that I can call on Him to fight off those demons for me.

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