It’s THAT time of year!
Whether you’re the person who started to put up decorations at the first dip into winter weather or if you have been bah-humbugging through the festive cheer, the shift that our world takes is unavoidable as Christmas takes over for a month (or more). But between the cookies, the gift giving and the lists (that are being checked more than twice) we can all find that it takes some extra thought to really focus and remember the Reason for this season.
This year, God has kindly been reminding me of the Reason in the book of Genesis. And I know, I know, Luke has historically been the main focus for the Christmas story. But it has been through a Bible study with my church that the depth of what this baby’s arrival meant to our world has really stood out to me.
At the beginning of Genesis we read the story of how God created the world. God created a perfect place and filled it with good things like plants, animals, and the first man and woman. That man and woman had everything that they needed and lived in a perfect paradise, filled with all that they could desire, and the biggest thing that they had going for them was their perfect and untainted relationship with God. He even would come and walk and talk with them. It was incredible and perfect and exactly how God had planned for it to be and it was all so good.
And then came the fall, the introduction of sin and brokenness into our world. The serpent deceives, the woman takes and the man joins in and for the first time there was a brokenness in that perfect relationship that the man and woman had with God.
And what was our God’s response to this treacherous act from man and woman? Does He strike them down, and go on without them? Does He just start over again?
No, He gives the man, Adam, and woman a promise that from an offspring of theirs there will be one who will rise up to crush the great deceiver. And it was from the hope in the possibility of having that relationship restored that then Adam gives the woman her name, Eve, which means mother of all living. This shows the hope that they had in the One who would come to crush the deceiver once and for all. And it is that hope of the One who would come to restore our relationship with God that we read about in the Old Testament stories. Noah hoped in a coming Savior, Abraham, Moses, David, Daniel, the whole of the Old Testament shares about those that hoped in the coming Savior.
And just think about how incredible it is that we know how God fulfilled that promise! That we can read about how an angel came to a young woman telling her that she was the one who was going to have the Promised Savior that so many before her had believed in and trusted in. That the angel then told Joseph to name that coming Savior, Jesus and gave Joseph the promise that this child would ‘save his people from their sins’. And think about how His timely birth to a poor couple in a stable in a small town in Jerusalem thousands of years ago was a part of God’s promise to restore what was broken long before by Adam.
Romans 5:18 says, “Therefore, as one trespass (Adam’s) led to condemnation for all men, so one act of righteousness (Jesus’s) leads to justification and life for all men.” That promised Savior came, and Jesus’ birth was the beginning of this restoration. Then when Jesus died on that cross and rose from death three days later, that was Him fulfilling the promise to crush the great deceiver.
This brings great joy to all who hear and believe it as we begin to regain what was lost all those years ago and we eagerly look forward to the day that it is fully restored in heaven.
There is hope for all people at this time of year as we celebrate the birth of our Savior. What an important thing to remember with everything else going on this Christmas season.