Saturday, December 28, 2013

A Lover and a Fighter (a Christmas postscript)

The following is from pages 124-125 & 130 of C.S. Lewis' book Reflections on the Psalms:

[The Psalms' focus on the Messiah as a conquering hero] emphasizes an aspect of the Nativity to which our later sentiment about Christmas (excellent in itself) does less than justice. For those who first read these [messianic] Psalms as poems about the birth of Christ, that birth meant something very militant: the hero, the "judge" or champion or giant-killer, who was to fight and beat death, hell and the devils, had at last arrived, and the evidence suggests that Our Lord also thought of Himself in those terms.


The hero has come.
Read in this sense, the [messianic] Psalm restores Christmas to its proper complexity. The birth of Christ is the arrival of the great warrior and the great king. Also of the Lover, the Bridegroom, whose beauty surpasses that of man. But not only the Bridegroom as the lover, the desired; the Bridegroom also as he who makes fruitful, the father of children still to be begotten and born. Certainly the image of a Child in a manger by no means suggests to us a king, giant-killer, bridegroom, and father. But it would not suggest the eternal Word either---if we didn't know. All alike are aspects of the same central paradox.

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