Feasting is Fighting
Written by Gabriel Rench on December 21, 2017
Fight, laugh, feast. You’ve no doubt heard and read those words around the CrossPolitic podcast and website, as they capture our vision of cultural engagement. Faithful Christians are joyful warriors. They are mighty in battle with their enemies, yet they fling jokes at the stars while gathered around a table teeming with friends and their children. The belly laugh is a battle cry, for we belong to the Lord Jesus Christ, who has authority over all things.
Christmas gives us the perfect time for feasting. Advent may be for waiting, but Christmas is for all out celebration: pies, roasts, cookies, steaks, eggnog, and whatever other traditional holiday foods one might eat in large quantities. But we would be wrong to disconnect our feasting from our fighting. In fact, feasting is one considerable way Christians fight.
Earlier this year, Trevin Wax wrote on this topic:
“I heard Andrew Peterson recently recall a scene in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. In that Narnian world blanketed by snow (where it is always winter and never Christmas), the White Witch comes upon a party in the woods, where she finds “decorations of holly” and “something like plum pudding.” A bunch of merry animals are enjoying a feast in celebration of a visit from Father Christmas, the return of Aslan, and the signal that winter will soon end. At once, the Witch demands the animals deny the good news, and when they refuse, she turns them into stone. The merry feast was to the evil witch a declaration of war.”
And so it is when we gather around our tables this Christmas. We declare war on every vestige of injustice lurking in the corners of our civilization. We open fire on all the high-handed wickedness committed in plain view with enthusiastic support from the Approved Voices. We declare, It won’t be this way for long. For behold, there is good news of great joy. A savior has been born in the city of David. A king has come, and of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will uphold His throne with justice and righteousness.
His Kingdom may have started small, like a mustard seed, but it will grow to be the largest tree in the garden. It will overshadow the rule of every wicked king, every tin-pot dictator, and every corrupt congressman. Hollywood will bow its knee; Washington will confess He’s Lord. Every enemy will be put under His feet. Until then, knowing the outcome is secure, we will gather around our tables and celebrate. We will raise our glasses and toast: Long live the King!
Feasting is Fighting
Feasting is fighting: it is a play for the souls of men. It is evangelistic. The false gods are angry, but Jesus came eating and drinking. God is, as Andrew Wilson has noted, “happier than people think he should be.” Christmas festivities prove the point. In the providence and plan of God, entire civilizations party to mark the Incarnation of our Lord. Even two centuries into our cultural apostasy, we still bock off a month for Christmas lights, gifts, music, and parties. Christmas joy is potent. When Christians gather to feast, with thanksgiving, we display in the happiness and fullness of God. This type of joy is attractive in a world plagued by guilt.
Feasting is fighting: it strikes at the fruitlessness of secularism. At every turn, our current rulers are waging war against fruitfulness. Abortion, homosexuality, destruction of marriage and the family, heavy taxation, and stifling regulations. But we say No to their miserly and barren ways when we pile our tables high with choice cuts of meat and three different types of chocolate. Our God shares his bounty and prepares a feast for His people:
“On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.”—Isaiah 25:6
Feasting is fighting: it is a way toward worship. Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights (James 1:17). This includes the gifts of gingerbread cookies and peppermint bark. When we receive God’s gifts with thanksgiving and remember His goodness and generosity toward us, we make a return to Him of praise. We do not worship God because of His gifts—He is worthy of our worship whether He gives anything to us or not—but His gifts provide the perfect occasion to worship Him. And worship is war. When God’s people worship Him, He acts on their behalf and wins their battles. Thus, feasting is fighting.
This Christmas—if I may riff of a verse that often plays during breaks in the podcast—go, eat your pie with joy and drink your cider with a merry heart, for God has already approved your works. The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof. May your table resemble the fullness of His world, and may you have a blessed and merry Christmas.