(We will continue into 2 Peter on January 2, but in the meantime ...)
Preparing for Christmas
For the remainder of this week I'm going to present you with a series of readings leading up to Christmas, drawing from the Scriptures, as well as excerpts from my new book, Eyes on Jesus: The Christmas Chronicles.
I encourage you to actually take your Bible in hand and look up the passages. The Sovereign Lord was planning long in advance for his Son to enter the world. Take time to listen to the promises woven into the Old Testament.
Our starting place is not a typical part of Christmas reflections, but it's actually the first sighting in the Scripture that Christmas is coming!
Read Genesis 3:1-15
Excerpt from "The Christmas Chronicles" - Eve's Story.
Eve describes the wrongdoing that has brought a curse upon her and Adam and all Creation ("Oh, what have we done?"), and then speaks about the one who deceived her ...
The wretched snake received his own condemnation, cursed beyond all creatures, and rightly so, doomed to crawl on his belly and eat dust. Oh, he had been so very engaging, so very welcoming, but all the while he was laying a trap with friendship. The Lord pronounced that the snake and I would be perpetual enemies, the ongoing hostility continuing between my offspring and his, the tension spilling down through the generations, absolutely unending, without interruption or reprieve.
Unending, that is, until it reaches its appointed climax. That’s what the Lord said. Did I hear it right? Can it be? Even with all creation cursed, can there truly be this piercing ray of hope? Is good news possible?
That’s what I heard the Lord say.
For a child will be born. An offspring from my own line will come. He will be born through pain, yes, entering this world that is now cursed, but he will make all the difference. This coming child will vanquish the enemy. He will right the wrong. Oh, he will pay a price to do it, being wounded in the process. But the vile snake will be fatally crushed. The spiteful deceiver will be undone. The justice pronounced by God will be fully accomplished. All will be set right.
Undeniably good news.
When I plucked the fruit, I set aside the Lord’s command. I disregarded his words. I discounted what he had said. But not now. I will cling to these words with all my heart, for all my life, as long as I have. I will hold this promise tight, embracing it with all I’ve got, breathing it deeply like my first breath—in fact, like a new creation. For the Lord has spoken, true and sure. He told the snake his fate, and it will not be undone.
“I will put enmity,” the Lord said,
“between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and hers;
he will crush your head,
and you will strike his heel.”
It’s only a glimpse. It’s just a slight taste of life-giving fruit. It waits a future day, while the pain continues now. But it’s enough to dull the bitterness that lingers in my mouth.
Give thanks. The Lord knew the bitter reality of sin's curse. He planned from eternity past to send his Son to be our Saviour. Bethlehem is the beach-head of his rescue plan! Give thanks.
Photo by Dyu - Ha on Unsplash