“For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour,
which is Christ the Lord.”
(Luke 2:11 KJV)
So yeah, I’m one of those nerds who was saddened by the passing of Marvel Comics creator, Stan Lee. I’ve been a Marvel guy for close to the half-century plus I’ve been around. I loved the X-Men, and one of my favorite super heroes was a character named Angel. Now I’d like to tell you that this was a precursor to my Christian faith and eventual call to theological study and the ministry, but truth be told, as a little kid, I just thought it would be very cool to have wings and fly.
As we begin this season of Advent to prepare our hearts for Christmas, and to celebrate the birth of Jesus, I’ve been thinking a lot about angels lately…and “X.” I revisit the myriad of emotions both Mary and Joseph must have felt when the angels told them that Jesus was being rocketed from Heaven directly to her pure womb. I think about the shepherds who were “sore afraid,” as the King James Bible notes, or more understandably, “terrified,” at the sight of an “angel of the Lord,” and who must have come close to passing out when this single angel was then joined by thousands of others in the night sky. I think about, as overwhelming as the presence of the angels must have been, how its impact paled in comparison to the aura of God, or “glory of the Lord,” that enveloped them as the angels spoke, sang, proclaimed or whatever angel-speak they communicated with while God’s omnipresence was all about them. (I’m getting chills just thinking about it.)
And then there’s “X.” I find it interesting that a lot of Christians I have spoken to over the years have been offended by the written expression of “Merry Christmas” condensed to “Merry X-mas.” I totally get and agree the greeting “Happy Holidays” is a politically correct ploy and subtle way of removing my Jesus from the holiday that was created to celebrate His, i.e. my Savior’s birthday. It doesn’t take a Biblical or Greek scholar, however, to know that the X often represents the Greek word for Christ (which begins with the letter X).
Long before the X-men featuring a comic book character named Angel was imagined, an image that was almost unimaginable occurred in a little insignificant town named Bethlehem. An angel of the Lord appeared, surrounded by God’s unfathomable glory, and announced, “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.” And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.” (Luke 2:11-14 KJV)
That babe would grow to be “The X-Man,” Χριστός in the Greek, Christós, or better known to us as Christ Jesus – The Chosen One sent by God to save our lives by sacrificing His. Yeah, now there’s a Super Hero story better than fiction. Merry “X”-mas!