Thursday, December 5, 2013

Advent Day #5 - Genesis 3:8-15

When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden.  So they hid from God among the trees.  Then the Lord called to the man, "Where are you?"  He replied, "I heard you walking in the garden, so I hid.  I was afraid because I was naked."  "Who told you that you were naked?"  the Lord God asked.  "Have you eaten from the tree whose fruit I commanded you not to eat?"  The man replied, "It was the woman you gave me who gave me the fruit, and I ate it."  Then the Lord God asked the woman, "What have you done?"  "The serpent deceived me," she replied, "That's why I ate it."  Then the Lord God said to the serpent, "Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all animals, domestic and wild.  You will crawl on your belly, groveling in the dust as long as you live.  And I will cause hostility between you and the women, and between your offspring and her offspring.  He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel."

This is the point in the creation story where it all goes wrong.  Man has chosen to disobey God, and with it has brought a curse onto all of creation.  Even today all of creation groans and waits for when they will be made new in Christ.  Even in this moment, when you would think that God would be so angry with his creation, he promises to make things right again.  He must have enjoyed the company of his creation in the garden.  He wants to create a way to reunite man to himself.  It is interesting that when he is cursing the serpent, that he promises to make things right again.  This is the first mention of the plan to come.  He promises the serpent that one will be born of a woman.  That one will crush the head of the serpent.  His heel will be struck by the serpent, but in the end this one will crush the head of the serpent.  This one is the one for whom we prepare this Advent.  God is foretelling of the little baby that will be born in a manger, and will rise to crush the head of a serpent.  Sometimes, we can get caught up in the baby, and forget that Jesus was a man on a mission.  He was born of a woman in order that he may crush the head of the serpent.  As you look at the baby in the nativity, remember the victory that Jesus was born to bring to man.  Only when the head of the serpent was crushed, could we be reconciled to our creator and brought into right relationship with him.

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