The White Dragon and The Promised One

The Magpie, Claude Monet

-Please, momma, tell me the Christmas story again. All of it. 

-Come, let’s sit by the Christmas Tree, little One.

This season of the year reminds us of The Story that changed all stories, just like all the decorations in our home remind us of how this Story changed us.

Spring, the season in which life comes forth pushing hard through the icy ground seeking sunlight, air, space, reminds us of the coming of our Savior into a world full of Winter; a world in which the White Dragon, who was called that not because he was good, but because he always was dressed like an Angel of Light to disguise people, ruled.

All creation was in a long Winter, the White Dragon was a cruel ruler and kept the eyes of men blind and their ears deaf. All was cold and arid, but some knew about the Promise of Life that the King of Light had given the world from the beginning, and they patiently waited for Him, the Messiah. They waited for Him to come and break the ice and melt the coldness in the hearts of men, and open their eyes to see and their ears to hear. Day after day, they kept expecting the Promise of Life. Spring came, then Summer, Fall…and Winter. Again. Year after year they longed for His appearance.

The Dads and Moms kept telling their children about the Great Promise: The Promise of Life. And when they died, their children told their children about it. Some got tired of waiting and abandoned all hope and were content to worship golden calves and wooden gods. But God (and, Oh! How I love that phrase, “But God!”) always kept a remnant, and He himself nourished their faith and hope. They kept searching the Scriptures, they kept longing for the Advent of the Seed that would break the head of the White Dragon.

One night, when there was a lot of buzz in a tiny city (a city so small that only those who read the Book knew about its existence and always kept an eye on it) a star shone like no one had ever done before. It was so bright that the White Dragon trembled, but he did not understand why. Because, remember, the White Dragon even though he was very powerful, he did not know all things, he knew he was going to be crushed to death on the head but he did not know the time. He did not understand the Seasons.

And that is why we now fill our house with lights. We want the world to know that here, in our home, in our hearts the Promise lives.

But, going back to the star and the tiny city… There in the most unexpected place, a beautiful young lady was about to give birth to her first son. Her husband was there, holding her hand, praying for her, comforting her. There were not doctors or midwives to help them. He did not know exactly what to do. Trying to find clean cloths and lukewarm water was not easy. And then, when her face was full of tears and her body full of sweat, the Baby cried. He was alive. And they kissed him and she cried and her husband held her tight and kissed her forehead and they worshiped The Promise Giver  and The Promised One, and Heaven was rejoicing. The time had come. The Promised One had finally come!

The hard soil in the World full of Winter began to thaw.

The angels rejoiced in such a manner that they could not stay in Heaven; they had to be heard and seen by humans, they had to announce to the World the great news of great joy. They chose a group of shepherds, not the nice kind of shepherds that some artists like to paint, remember little one, that those shepherds were like the people we sometimes avoid in the streets. But they chose them to tell us something about the Promised One: He was coming to transform the hearts of men no matter what kind of people they were.

The White Dragon heard about all this while visiting the castle of a king name Herod. He has there behind the king’s throne when a group of Wise Men, dressed with fine clothes stood before the king and asked him if he knew where was the Real King to be found, the Newborn King, the Promised One. When the king heard this he trembled and the White Dragon started to speak into his ear, “Calm down.  Tell them you also want to go worship him. Maybe they will tell you where he is to be found. Then you can go and kill him. You are the king and this babe is a threaten to your kingdom… ” While king Herod was repeating those exact words to the Wise Men, the White Dragon murmured… “I must kill Him. He is. He is the One.” and he was trembling and was full of fear and fury.

But the King of Light kept the Promised One safe. Through visions and dreams the Wise Men knew that they should not tell king Herod were the Prince of Light was staying. And the humble family with their hands full of gifts that helped them pay for a long trip moved to a land known as Egypt. A land which reminded them of the time  when their forefathers were slaves and were delivered in a glorious way by the only true Promise Keeper, by the mighty Hand of the Savior of Nations. There, in that barren land they hid.

As you can imagine, my little one, king Herod and the White Dragon became furious when the Wise Men did not come back to tell them about the new born King. And full of hatred and fear the White Dragon spoke again into the king’s ear, “Kill them all. All the babies. Get rid of them all!” And the king agreed. This had to be done. Yes, that is also part of this story, little one. Women, men, children, all were crying desperately out in the streets. The White Dragon was out there too, inflaming the hearts of each soldier carrying a sword with revenge and hatred, he kept blowing cold ice into their hearts, eyes and ears so that they could not see what they were doing, and could not hear the cries for mercy. Meanwhile, King Herod was drinking wine and eating figs in his castle.

That night was dreadful. But King Herod and the White Dragon were sure they had won the battle so they feasted until morning. But God, and yes… But God! (and never forget that those two words can change the course of any story) He could not be conquered by powerful men or dragons.

No one knew yet what was going to happen. All seemed the same for a few more years. The Pharisees and Scribes kept teaching in the synagogues and loading people with such heavy burdens that they could not carry themselves. The tax collectors were still stealing from men. The merchants in the Temple were making more money each day. The lepers, the blind, the deaf all were begging for money, for mercy. Some women were entangling men with sweet words, perfumes, good looks; others were spending all their money trying to find a cure for their sickness. Some men were fishing, others learning how to make tents, and others learning the Scriptures at the feet of great teachers. No one really knew what was about to happen.

But one day, when the Promised One was about thirty years old, he came to be baptized and something that has only happened once took place. The Heaven was opened and the Father of Light, the Promise Keeper spoke and announced that this was His Son, His Beloved Son, the Prince of Peace, the Promised One. And the Spirit of God came in the form of a dove and rested upon Him. And all was glorious and the icy hard soil of the World full of Winter kept breaking up, little by little.

Little one, can you imagine that? WOW! It’s one of those amazing mysteries that surround this story and make us see what a fascinating thing His appearance is.  Oh, what a moment I am sure that was!

The Promised One walked among men and women. Rich and poor, healthy and sick. He taught them in the synagogues and on the mountains.  By the sea and around tables full of great food and wine. He went to weddings and held children in His arms to bless them. He healed and delivered many from the diseases and chains that the White Dragon had placed on them. He got very angry too against all the merchants in the temple. He brought back to life many that had died. He cried too.

The White Dragon started to see the signs of Spring, of Life. He knew then that the Promised One did not die that one night when many innocent babies were slaughtered. He had to come with a plan soon. He had to destroy the Prince of Peace. This time he whispered to the ears of the Pharisees and Scribes, “Kill him. He says He is One with God. Kill him. He will bring down all your teachings and you will lose your power. See? People are following Him. Kill him!” And they heard him, and agreed. And starting to plot a way to do so.

But you know what, little one? These men who bragged about how much they knew the Scriptures, did not see that it was written in the Book that it was them who were going to be part of the scheme to kill the Promised One.

The White Dragon then came and spoke into the ear of one of the Promised One’s closest friends. He spoke convincingly and blew coldness into his heart, filled it with greed, and seared his conscience. Judas was his name. He did not have silver or gold, but he had Jesus; sadly, he rather had silver and gold than Jesus. He gave up everything to follow his greedy heart and instead of finding forgiveness and life under the One Tree, he found his death on a tree.

The Promised One was praying on the mount. His friends were asleep while He was sweating drops of blood. Yes, little one, you heard me well, drops of blood. That tells us of how anguished he was. He was becoming obedient to the point of death and death on the cross. He was getting ready to drink the cup of God’s wrath, to crush the White Dragon’s head. To free his own.

Men and women came in the dark up to the mount. This time, however, they did not come to listen to him teaching, nor to be fed. They did not bring their children so that He would bless them, he brought them to see how the God Man, the Promised One, their only Hope was being taken away.

They followed him, watched from behind, many laughed, they were being entertained, amused to see how the soldiers mocked and hurt with cruelty the Prince of Peace. They placed a crown of thorns on his head. The thorns that represented all the sins of the world. The thorns that sprung forth from the earth that day so long ago, in which the first man and woman ate the forbidden fruit that the White Dragon offered them.

The crown of thorns was made up of all the sins that the world has ever known, and as they brutally placed it on him, it pierced the Messiah’s forehead. The White Dragon, said to himself, “So you thought you were going to crush me on the head?” And he laughed nervously.

Almost everyone (one did not, but instead hid in fear) followed closely the series of events that came one right after the other one. The whipping, the mocking, the tearing off his clothes, the trial, the loud voices, the confusion, His silence. They followed him through the Via Dolorosa up to Golgotha.

The White Dragon was there. You could see his reflection in the eyes of the soldiers when they laughed at Jesus. You could hear him in the laugh of the mockers. The trees were not clapping. Yet. The stars in heaven were silent. The angels were expectant. The women were crying.

One man took the nails and drove them through his own Creator’s hands and feet and nailed Him to the cross, avoiding at all times his eyes, eyes full of staggering mercy.  The White Dragon watched closely but did not understand why every time one of the Promised One’s drops of blood fell on the ground the Winter land thawed more and more.

In a moment, all heard the One on the Cross cried with a loud voice, “It is finished!” and as he expired, a great darkness descended over all, the earth shook, the rocks broke their silence. The veil of the temple was torn. “This can not be happening,” the White Dragon thought and shrieked loudly.

Three days of waiting, of crying, of wondering what had really happened. Three days of losing all hope. Three days of forgetting all the Words, all the promises. Three days of darkness.

But God… But God!... had spoken from the beginning and He is not like a man to lie, His promises are all truth and Amen. He, the Promise Giver, The Promise Keeper, the Father of Light had spoken and Jesus, Oh, and listen to this carefully, little one, Jesus, the Promised One, the Savior of the world rose from the death conquering death, defeating the White Dragon, setting the captives free from the bondages of sin. Oh, what a glorious truth!

This is, my little one, the story of Christmas.This is the Grand Story, The Story that changes all stories.

This is why Christmas is good news, why we celebrate, and why we are glad and rejoice.  Let’s be merry, let’s be glad. The Promised One has come!

Merry Christmas!


Celebrating the Excellencies of His Name – Emmanuel, by Norma Tochijara-

Emmanuel, God With Us.

What a great comfort this glorious name is, what a hope to rest upon. It is God himself who is with us, not a mere human that sins and fails us, not an angel, not a force, not a perishable thing,  but God himself! God with us!

The same God, that spoke in the Old Testament to Moses though a burning bush, who delivered Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the fiery furnace, who covered Elijah’s wet altar with fire; the same God who spoke to Noah and save him and his family from the flood; who delivered His people out of Egypt, who spoke through prophets; that same God made himself man, to come to this earth which He created, to take the form of sinful sinners like us, deserving nothing but God’s wrath.

God With Us. He came as a man and knows our every emotion, temptations, trials, He knows our needs and wants. He knows. He lived among us! What a blessed assurance it is that Emmanuel is His name. And with that, we know that He was with us, and He is with us, and He will be with us forever and ever. We can rest assured in this name, love it and worship it. We can and should adore this God who is With Us.

Jesus came, healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, forgave sins, and raised people from the dead, all these miracles speak of who He is. He is God With Us giving us sight, forgiving our sins, giving us life. We can rest assured that He is with us and we can rest in His good and eternal plan for us. We can rest assured that when troubles come, tragedies hit us, and temptations come our way, He is with us. He will give us the grace needed at the time. He will not leave us or forsake us, because His name is: Emmanuel!

God With Us. Saving us! When he was suffering the death of the cross and our sins  were being paid for, there He was, God With Us, suffering the punishment reserved for us. He is our only hope for Salvation, our only garment to put on to present ourselves before our Father one day. And in that day, when we will present ourselves before the Throne of God, Christ will be there as well. The great Emmanuel.

“O beloved! what an assuring and comforting truth is this- God with us! Now we feel equal to every service, prepared for every trial, armed for every assault. Deity is our shield, Deity is our arm, Deity is our Father and our Friend. We deal with the Divine. Deity has died for us, has atoned for us, has saved us, and will bring us safely to the realms of bliss.” – Octavius Winslow.

What a blessed name. His Name is above all names.

May God make us feel the need of Him, of Him being with us. That we may not be content with thinking we are doing OK on our own. We need Him, we need Him to be with us. Let’s learn to live in an atmosphere of godliness, knowing that we can pray to Him at all times, that He hears our prayers. Let us practice being in His presence as we prepare our souls to be with Him forever! What a privilege to be allowed in His house and dwell with Emmanuel forever. What a privilege and an unquenchable desire to enter through his gates with thanksgiving.

“God, in the infinite counsels of His own mind, resolved upon the salvation of His eternally chosen and loved people. He saw that there was no eye to pity them, and no arm to save them. He resolved upon our salvation, embarked in it, accomplished it; and eternity, as it rolls upon its axis, will magnify His name, and show forth His praise.” Octavius Winslow.


About the Author: Norma Tochijara lives with her family in Montreal Quebec.  She and her husband have been married for almost 17 years.  They have 2 sons, and 1 daughter who, a few months ago, went home to be with the Lord.  Norma and her family attend a Reformed Presbyterian Church and  she is in the process of learning and being transformed to be more like Jesus. Norma blogs at Reduce Me to Love.

****make sure you enter your name in this week’s giveaway*****

Grateful For His Coming

Annie Pliego Photography

I love Advent season, the expectation, the taking apart a time in our life to consider His coming, to meditate on the meaning of the Incarnation, on the Alpha and Omega, the Promised Savior, on His coming, His Birth, His life, His death.  During this season the books you see on my nightstand, (and in my purse and my car) are books that draw my attention to this event. I want to fully and intentionally live this season considering the miracle, the mystery of God taking the form of a man, setting aside all His royalty, dressed in humility, and take the form of a servant, making himself obedient even to the point of death, and death of the cross.

That is why our home’s decoration changes dramatically, a big tree in the living room (are you serious?), lights, Christmas ornaments hanging from the walls, the table cloth, the napkins, all changes because it is a way for us to be reminded of the all the dramatic changes that happen in our lives when He comes to us. These changes cannot be hidden, they are to be noticed. He has come, the shadow is no longer there, we see Jesus fulfilling every prophetic word in the Old Testament, the so long-expected Messiah has come to save His own. Oh what a blessed day! 

Yesterday was the First Sunday in Advent and as I was reading a sermon by Martin Luther, I was again brought to one of those moments in which you can’t do otherwise but give thanks, abundant thanks: Jesus came to us, He came, and we cannot do anything to win His favor, His grace, we only respond to His calling to us, to His coming, His intrusion into our lives (because He is not a “gentlemen that will never force us” like many say), He comes and breaks our wills and drag us to Himself. Isn’t this amazing? When we loved sin, and darkness, and were sons of the devil, He comes and gives us the gift of faith to respond like Mary did,  “I am the servant of the Lord; let it be to me according to your word.” 

Luther says,

“Everything that faith works in you comes from Him, not from you; and where He does not come, you remain outside; and where there is no Gospel, there is no God, but only sin and damnation…therefore you should not ask, where to begin to be godly; there is no beginning, except where the King enters and is proclaimed.”

This is a wonderful time to share the Gospel, to proclaim among our neighbors that He has come, that Jesus came to save His own, He came not in wrath, or to demand a debt, like Luther says. He came to draw us to Him, to deliver us from the slavery in which we lived. Oh what a time is this, to proclaim that He has come, that Salvation has come, that our Redeemer lives! Let us not lay back, let our light shine and preach the Gospel while we still have time.

For these I am grateful today,

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This week, starting on Thursday December 1st,  some of my friends and I will start a new series for the season: Celebrating the Excellencies of His Name.  Would you consider joining us?

Related Posts:

Celebrating the Incarnation of our Lord (Christmas is not celebrating “Jesus’ Birthday)
Celebrating the Incarnation of our Lord (Gifts We Bring by Elizabeth Debarros)
Celebrating the Incarnation of our Lord (A Read Aloud for Little Ones)
Celebrating the Incarnation of Our Lord (part IV)
Celebrating the Incarnation of our Lord (Epiphany)

Cultivating a Christ-Centered Christmas: Suggested Resources

Advent is around the corner (it starts the last Sunday of November) which is why today, as time approaches, I want to suggest to you several resources that have been a blessing in our home as we wait, as we sit around the family table, and read about His glorious coming.

Noël Piper says about Advent,

“For four weeks, it’s as if we’re re-enacting, remembering the thousands of years God’s people were anticipating and longing for the coming of God’s salvation, for Jesus. That’s what advent means—coming. Even God’s men who foretold the grace that was to come didn’t know “what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating.” They were waiting, but they didn’t know what God’s salvation would look like.” (source)

Please, continue to read over at Desiring Virtue. (and make sure to link up to your own recommendations!)

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Related posts:

Celebrating the Incarnation of our Lord -part 1-
Celebrating the Incarnation of our Lord -part 2: Gifts We Bring a guest post by Elizabeth DeBarros- 
Celebrating the Incarnation of our Lord -part 3- For Little Souls
Celebrating the Incarnation of our Lord -part 4-
Celebrating the Incarnation of our Lord – Calvin, Sermon on the Nativity of Christ-
Celebrating the Incarnation of our Lord: Quotes that Nourish

Desiring Virtue

>Celebrating the Incarnation of our Lord – Epiphany-

>This is the last post on this series, Celebrating the Incarnation of our Lord.

Matthew 2: 1- 12 (ESV)

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, 2saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.” 3When Herod the king heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him; 4and assembling all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Christ was to be born. 5They told him, “In Bethlehem of Judea, for so it is written by the prophet:
 6 “‘And you, O Bethlehem, in the land of Judah,
   are by no means least among the rulers of Judah;
for from you shall come a ruler
   who will shepherd my people Israel.'”
 7Then Herod summoned the wise men secretly and ascertained from them what time the star had appeared. 8And he sent them to Bethlehem, saying, “Go and search diligently for the child, and when you have found him, bring me word, that I too may come and worship him.” 9After listening to the king, they went on their way. And behold, the star that they had seen when it rose went before them until it came to rest over the place where the child was. 10When they saw the star, they rejoiced exceedingly with great joy. 11And going into the house they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh. 12And being warned in a dream not to return to Herod, they departed to their own country by another way.”

The shepherds heard the angels; the wise men followed a star… but wait, look carefully, take a second look. The star did not guide them at first to Jesus; the star was their guide to Jerusalem first, not to Bethlehem. It was in Jerusalem, however,  where the wise men found the only way to the Saviour. It was there where they heard what the Scriptures said about Jesus’ birth. It was, then, by the Scriptures that they arrived to Bethlehem. Luther says “They followed the Word, and God comforted them by putting back the star”

This is the only way we can come to Jesus, to know Him, through the Word of God. The wise men believed what the prophet Micah had said, they believed God’s Word and so they walked towards Bethlehem, the mad and troubled king with its troubled city were left behind. Jesus revealed Himself in the Scriptures to them and to us; we won’t find Him through Science, or Astrology, or “prophetic voices”; He is the Word; His Word is the only way to know Him, to see Him.

I don’t understand how people sell only New Testament Bibles, or why people give away only the gospel of John to unbelievers. We need the whole counsel of God. It is in the Law that we find our sin, it is in the Old Testament that we see Jesus veiled, only to find Him shining as the Bright Morning Star in the New Testament.

The Scriptures is the best gift we have received, many have given their lives for it; it is also the best gift we can give. Tonight children in Mexico go to bed expecting the coming of the wise men to leave them presents by the tree while they are asleep. Children leave one of their shoes by the tree, just to make sure that the wise men won’t get confused about which gift goes to which child.  This year we want to give, to bless children around us that haven’t heard the gospel, so we bought bibles, illustrated bibles to give away to them. We are excited about this little project; my prayer is that they will find, through faith, Jesus in the Scriptures, that as they open up the unexpected gift, they’ll unwrap Jesus.

Tomorrow is Epiphany, and tomorrow we will give the gift of the Scriptures to little unbelievers, because Epiphany means just that; “In the context of the Christian Church, Epiphany has a more specific reference: it celebrates the manifestation of the divine nature of Jesus to the Gentiles as represented by the Magi. The feast of Epiphany is observed on January sixth, twelve days after Christmas.”(1)

I encourage you to take advantage of this beautiful opportunity, to meditate on the marvelous gift we have received: The Scriptures that point us to Jesus.

Let’s read the Word, let us abide in the Word, it is the only way to know Jesus.

A related post around the corner:

Gene Veith writes on Epiphanies.
At Conjubilant Song read about The Feast of Epiphany.

>December 24th


The Nativity; Martin Shongauer, c.1480
“For to us a child is born,

to us a son is given;

and the government shall be upon his shoulder,

and his name shall be called

Wonderful Counselor, 

Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, 

Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government and of peace

there will be no end,

on the throne of David and over his kingdom,

to establish it and to uphold it

with justice and with righteousness

from this time forth and forevermore.

The zeal of the “Lord of hosts will do this.” 

Isaiah 9: 6-7