Let’s talk about Advent.
Do you know what it is? It’s completely okay if you don’t. The word “advent” means arrival – usually of an important thing or event. So on the Church calendar, Advent simply means “the arrival of Christ”. It’s a time for preparation – to ready our hearts and our homes for a great celebration! For many, this means shopping and decorating and baking and parties, and that is all very exciting, though it’s hardly the type of preparation this season truly requires. Advent is a time to quiet our hearts, for repentance, examination and introspection.
Now, when we think of the arrival of Christ, we often think about Mary riding on a donkey into Bethlehem for the census, or the angel Gabriel telling her that she will bear a child. Some may think of the Advent of Christ beginning with prophets like Isaiah and Malachi telling of the Savior that is coming. But Christ’s Advent really begins with our need for Him in Genesis with the original sin. From that moment on, the world needed a Rescuer. And from that moment on, a Redeemer was coming to buy them back from the sin that so powerfully enslaved them – and us.
Traditionally Advent is celebrated beginning the fourth Sunday before Christmas – which for us this year is December 2nd. So as we begin our 28-day walk through the glorious and precious Advent of The One who came to do what no one else could do, let’s do it quietly. Let’s do it with loved ones around the table. Let’s let Advent be a season like no other – that we may find the truest kind of rest in Him.
“Come thou long expected Jesus,
Born to set thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us;
Let us find our rest in Thee.”
Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus, Charles Wesley
Day 1 | The Fall of Man and the First Promise of the Messiah is Revealed | Genesis 3:1-15
As we come into the Advent season, you may read this section of scripture and think, “What does this have to do with Christmas? The birth of Christ?” When I read through these verses, the Messiah’s coming to earth is not the first thing I think about. In fact, this section of scripture is heavy—Adam and Eve are separated from God by their sin, they are cast out of the garden, they left as broken.
But verse 15 of chapter 3 is where it all begins. It’s the very first promise – the first hint – even in the wake of great loss that a Redeemer is coming.
“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” [Emphasis added; Genesis 3:15, ESV]
The enmity is an act of grace. It is God, in grace, returning Eve’s affections from Satan back to Himself. It is a punishment to the serpent, a drawing close of His daughter.
And the “your” v. “her” offspring? It’s humanity. Now divided into two communities – the regenerate and the unregenerate; those who love God and those who love self. In fact, we’ll see this expressed almost right away in the relationship of Cain and Abel.
And most importantly – the head and heel. It’s the foretelling of the advent of Christ victorious. The story is just getting started, but even in the dark beginning there is promise of light!
Sisters. This Truth – the whole story – it’s all about Christ! And we can’t wait to unpack it all together these next four weeks with you as we look to the coming of the Hope of the world!
[special thanks to Greg Wilbur and George Grant for permission to use their book, Christmas Spirit, as a guide for scripture selections and daily titles for this plan.]