The King of Creation: A Christmas Devotion to Set Your Heart Alight
The Christmas story is one part of the bigger story. When telling a story, it is best to not leave out the other parts if you want to give full understanding.
Sometimes at Christmas or Easter time, it makes us feel badly if we are not as moved or excited about the season's message again and again. Through the years, many authors have endeavored to tell these story parts in new ways to help out - to weave them together into the stunning whole so people can see it all anew.
As a Christian author, here is a contribution from me. This is the story of how the King came to reinstate His Kingdom. It is a beginning to understanding what it means to be part of the Kingdom of God.
Please enjoy this little creation as my Christmas gift to my royal brothers and sisters, and a Christmas hope for everyone near and far - that all the children would come home.
May we discover our place in the Kingdom as we adore the one, true King.
Peace be with you.
The King of Creation
1 | A Tale of Two Trees
ONCE UPON A TIME, before anything bad had ever happened and no evil was anywhere to be found in all the world, the King of Creation looked upon His perfect Kingdom. It was time for the final phase in His design.
“Let us make man in our image, after our likeness,” He said. “And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”
So the King created humanity, male and female, and He delegated His authority to them. Humanity was to rule on His behalf, mediating the King’s gracious rule to every part of His Kingdom.
The King blessed the first man and woman, who were called Adam and Eve. “Be fruitful and multiply,” He said to them, “and fill the earth and subdue it and have dominion…”
Now, deep in the midst of the King’s great garden where Adam and Eve lived, there grew two trees. The King had placed them there to represent the freedom He had given to His children. Humanity would always be free to choose whether they submitted to the King.
One of the trees was extraordinary. It was called the Tree of Life, and its fruit was like nothing imaginable today. It granted life. Humanity could eat freely from this wonderful tree, and as long as they did, they would live forever. They would never know death, nor the pain and suffering that could come before and after it.
The other tree was much less remarkable, yet it, too, was as lovely and beneficial as any other in the great garden, and not one thing was bad about it because everything the King of Creation had made was perfect. However, the King told humanity not to eat from it, or they would die.
The tree's fruit had no special powers, but as long as humanity obeyed and did not eat of the tree, they were choosing to live in submission to the King. If they rejected His rule and ate of it, the life they had been freely given would be taken away. This tree was called the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.
Now, since there had never been any evil for the humans to know, they could not understand the concept of the difference between good and evil. There was no need of it.
One day, a demon who had been the leader of a great rebellion against the King and cast out of heaven, found his way into the great garden. The demon lay in wait for Adam and Eve near the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. He hated the human couple because they were made in the image of the King, and because the King loved them more than anything else He had made.
The demon, called Satan, spoke through one of the beautiful creatures of the great garden and put doubt about the King in the minds of the King’s two beloved children.
“You will not surely die,” he said to Adam and Eve. “For God knows that when you eat of (this tree) your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”
So, Adam and Eve conceived in their hearts a desire to become like the King. They made a new choice to abuse their freedom and reject His rule, trusting themselves instead.
But since they had never disobeyed the King before, they did not know what it meant to feel shame. Suddenly, the new and terrible feeling came crashing into them. They gained what they had thought they wanted; they now knew the difference between good and evil. Evil was what they had done.
When they heard the King in the great garden, they hid, but it was futile.
“Where are you?” the King called.
Standing before Him in their shame, Adam and Eve tried to pass around blame, but the consequences could not be avoided.
All around them, creation fell under the curse of the evil that had been introduced into the perfect land. Thorns and thistles began to grow. Animals turned and devoured one another. Death and decay took over as the new order. And disobedience to the King, called sin, became the natural state of humanity. The perfect King could have no fellowship with sinful humanity now, and the intimate relationship Adam and Eve once had with Him was broken.
“The man has now become like one of us, knowing good and evil,” the King said. “He must not be allowed to reach out his hand and take also from the Tree of Life and eat, and live forever.”
So, the King banished humanity from the great garden. He shed animal’s blood in order to make garments of skin to clothe the humans, which became symbolic coverings for their shame. Then the King placed on the east side of the great garden angelic beings and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the Tree of Life. Without the Tree of Life, Adam and Eve and all their children after them would know death, just as the King had warned. For what good would immortality have been in a world of evil?
Meanwhile, this reversal was so significant that Satan from then on was referred to as “the ruler of this world.”
But to the serpent possessed by Satan, the King had said, “…I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
It was the King’s vow to reclaim His Kingdom again. One day, He would arrive in the form of woman’s offspring, and though Satan would strike Him, He would utterly destroy the demon along with sin and death forever.
So, all of creation stuck now in its pain and suffering and cycles of death and decay began its long wait for the one, true King to fulfill His Word.
2 | The Covenant
IT MAY HAVE FELT HOPELESS AT TIMES, but the King of Creation never disappeared from His story. He immediately launched a plan of redemption for the people He had made.
The King’s plan started with one man, and then other men. The King began to re-establish His Kingdom on the earth. He created a people for Himself who knew that He was the true King and who were faithful to Him. (Well, sometimes.) These people were meant to embody and spread the knowledge of the King and His salvation to everyone else. The plan would reach its climax when the King Himself came and righted the wrong that had been done in the great garden.
The King made a covenant with the people: “I will be your God and you will be my people,” He promised.
In the course of time, the small family became a great nation. But because sin was humanity's natural state, the people continually disobeyed the King just like their father Adam had done. They regularly broke the King’s laws which He instituted for them and did a poor job of taking the news of His salvation to other nations.
Eventually, the King made a way for the people to atone for their sin while they waited for Him, but the animal sacrifices were just a symbol of their coming salvation. The sacrificial system never had the ability to save them. They were truly trapped by the curse and destined for death.
One day, the King’s people looked at all the other nations around them, and they made another self-serving choice just like the one Adam and Eve had made. They rejected the King’s rule over them in favor of a human king. The true King had warned them about the rule of a human, but He allowed it. He was willing to rule His people through a human king who was submitted to Him.
But the first human king was a poor representative, and the people suffered.
So, the true King rejected that man and anointed as earthly king of the nation a man who would truly represent Him. This man was called David, and instead of a towering soldier as the people had expected, he was a lowly shepherd boy. But the King reminded the people that humanity looked at the outward appearance, but the King looked at the heart.
King David became the earthly king through whom the heavenly King could relate to His people. David was human, so he was far from perfect, but he set the ideal for what the nation's king should look like. The people lived in prosperity under his rule.
Through the years, prophets came forward to tell the people that their heavenly King was still coming to save them. He would come from the line of righteous King David. The true King would put everything back in order, restoring the world to what it was intended to be, as He had promised.
“My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd,” the King said. “They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes.”
This was good news because most of the kings that came after David were wicked. The nation followed the example of their wicked kings, and all the people fell into sin upon sin, always more terrible than before.
The prophets foretold that it would not always be this way. The King had declared that He would make a new covenant with the people when He rescued them.
He said, “For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days. I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts.”
The King was going to make it possible for humanity to obey Him despite their sinful natural state. He was going to write His laws directly on their hearts! Obedience would no longer be a condition. Obedience was a promise that the King’s people could experience when they entered into the new covenant.
“And I will be their God, and they shall be my people,” the King promised again. “And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest… For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
The King longed for fellowship with His created children. Sin had come between them, but He would defeat it soon once and for all.
But just as Adam and Eve had not comprehended the great price they would pay by their choice to rule themselves, the people could not have imagined the great price that was required to save them from their sin. When the King would finally come, what would He have to do to set them free? The animal sacrifices through the many generations had been symbolic of their salvation. Symbolic of what exactly? What was the cost for the sin of the whole world?
In time, the prophets grew silent and darkness reigned, and the King’s people waited, and they wondered, and the years went on and on.
Then, at long last, a light appeared.
3 | The Light in the Darkness
One night, near a small town called Bethlehem, shepherds were living in the fields keeping watch over their flocks.
Suddenly, a messenger angel from the King appeared.
“Do not be afraid,” the angel said to the shepherds. “I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”
At once, the shepherds went in search of the baby. They found him just as the angel had described, gently laid in an animal feeding trough.
The shepherds wondered at the baby in these circumstances, surrounded by His humble parents and born into a lowly condition. What could it mean?
But here was their Savior come for them at last, so they left that place in joy and spread the message all around. Everyone who heard it was amazed.
But the baby’s mother treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. She, too, had been visited by an angel messenger of the heavenly King. The angel Gabriel had told her that she was the woman whose offspring would crush Satan. While still a virgin, she would come to be with child by the supernatural power of the true King and would give birth to a son.
“You are to give him the name Jesus,” Gabriel had said. “He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of his father David, and he will reign over the house of Jacob forever; his kingdom will never end.”
The King had now come as promised, in the Person of His Son, called Jesus. Jesus was the promised Messiah, which meant “anointed one.” He was the anointed King, who was here to reinstate His Kingdom.
The true light that could give light to every human had come into the world. It shone in the darkness, just like the prophet had said: "The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of deep darkness a light has dawned."
But the darkness would not understand the light.
The King had come for a people who had always rejected Him, and they would do it again. How could they do anything else? They were slaves to sin. But He had come for them because He loved His created children more than anything else He had made, no matter what they did.
And He would accomplish what it took to rescue them, for it was the Father’s heart that all the children would come home.
The child Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.
One day, Jesus was taking a walk at Bethany on the other side of the Jordan River. A man was there who had been chosen to herald the true King.
The man saw Jesus and immediately cried out, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!”
Those who had a heart to understand would soon believe. The Kingdom of God had arrived.
(To Be Continued at Easter!)
This Christmas, remember that Jesus meets us in our darkness. He was born into a world of conflicting ideologies and divided people, and wickedness and suffering, no different from today. He Himself was despised and rejected.
But it was into this deep darkness that He came as a light for all humanity. King Jesus is our hope.
This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:5-7)
Father God, thank you for sending Your Son Jesus to save us. Thank you for not abandoning us to our darkness. Instead, you offer hope and salvation! If we follow You, we never have to walk in darkness! Please be with us this Christmas as we celebrate You. We look forward with anticipation to Your second coming. Until then, help us to live as children of light so we will point the world to You. In Jesus name, Amen.
*Learn how to awaken to Kingdom living here.
Meg Grimm is a Christian writer on a mission to bring the wonder and truth of fairy tales and folklore into modern life from a biblical perspective. She has authored several faith-based books exploring folk medicine.