“Special Operations: Christmas!”
By Pastor Ron Buxton
For those who were my closest friends during my adolescence, they would be surprised that I did not make a career in the military. That’s because I spent 8 years in a youth military program, and was even recognized as the “Cadet Officer of the Year” in 1984. Actually, my fascination with the armed forces began well before my teenage years. You see, I had picked up a book in a grade school library that seemed to almost involuntarily direct me towards military service. The book was published by Time magazine, and it was about the U.S. Special Forces.
That was many years before all the movies and TV programs brought any glory or recognition to those elite forces. But I was absolutely enthralled by how they served our nation. And, to me, their Latin motto: “De Oppresso Liber” spoke of something larger than life itself. Almost other-worldly! Little did I know then that that Latin phrase, which means “to free the oppressed”, would lead me to something that really was other-worldly! And it all happened just before I could officially enlist into the U.S. Armed Forces. In fact, it radically changed any kind of future dreams that I once had. Out of the blue, God showed up and rescued me! He had liberated the oppressed. And that oppressed one—was me!
Amazingly, what the special operation troops do in the natural and physical realm of warfare, I could now see through the metaphorical optics of Christianity. Believe it, or not, there is a supernatural “world war” going on all around us! And whether folks like to admit it, or not, those hostile forces of evil will not release them as prisoners of sin and eventual death. And so, “special operations” guided by dedicated Christian soldiers are needed. Don’t think that my words are just foolish imagery. Read Ephesians chapter six for yourself. That “De Oppresso Liber” aspect is really real!
This brings me to the message of Christmas. It really was a celestial “Special Operations: Christmas”! Just like D-Day of WWII, Christ had “landed” (although disguised) into hostile enemy territory to begin a great world-wide revolution of redemption and righteousness! Bethlehem was only the “drop zone”. However, His hidden objectives would be revealed more than 30 years later, as recorded in Luke 19:10. The “Special Operations: Christmas” was to “seek and to save what was lost”! Folks, this is no small task considering that many of the POWs refuse to be liberated! And yet, that’s what Christ has done for me—and I thank God for that each Christmas!
How about you? Have you recognized that you are in need of being liberated from the clutches of the Enemy of all enemies? Or have you ever thought about why Christ ever came to this planet in the first place? “Special Operations: Christmas” is underway! Trust Christ to safely extract you away from this war zone–and POW camp—that life can sometimes become!