I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.
Genesis 3:15 (NIV)
Influenced by my mom, I'm a big fan of nativity advent calendars to count down the days in December until Christmas. If nothing else, it keeps children from perpetually begging, "Is it Christmas yet?" (Apparently, SOME kids are known to do this)
A visual enables us to see when Christmas ends. But ... where did it begin?
*Luke’s gospel details the historic record of Mary and Joseph’s Spirit-led journey to Bethlehem where we read about the promised Messiah seen in the birth of Jesus. But that isn’t where Christmas begins.
Matthew’s gospel records Jesus a few years later as a young child who's visited by the Magi during King Herod’s reign. Christmas doesn’t begin there either.
Traveling back to the Old Testament, Isaiah records a prophecy about a light that’s dawned on a people walking in darkness. To them a child is born, a son is given. He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. [Isaiah 9:6]
Is this where Christmas begins? No, we need to head back to Eden.
Genesis 1 and 2 details God’s magnificent design, a showcase of beauty by a master artisan and engineer who parted light from darkness [Genesis 1:4]. But then a booby-trapped conversation with Satan takes place near the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, and Adam and Eve succumb to temptation, bringing death into the world. The only hope for humanity was a sinless savior’s redemption and God’s promise to rescue us.
Ah, Genesis 3:15. That’s where Christmas begins. Do you see it?
God told the serpent:
I will put enmity between you and the woman ... He [Jesus] will crush your head, and you will strike his heel [at the cross].
The cross was the gateway to Jesus's resurrection where he crushed Satan, the darkness of sin defeated by his holy light. When we broaden our biblical lenses, the origin of Christmas—and the necessity for it—is clear.
For some, this might be the year when we’re first introduced to the promised Messiah in Genesis 3:15.
But wherever we are in our relationship with God and his son Jesus Christ, may Christmas begin in our hearts today, and may his eternal light guide us always.
*Previously printed in the 2023 devotion published by members of Corinth Reformed Church, Hickory, NC.
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A redemption, second chance story featuring a pastor with a past and the girl he abandoned in Vegas. If she tells all, he'll never recover his reputation.
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