A Christmas Puzzle : Day 5
And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her, he will crush your head and you will strike his heel.
In our culture, it is known as a spoiler alert. In Scripture, it is called prophecy.
Many theologians consider Genesis 3:15 the most important prophecy in Scripture. So important that it has been given a unique name: the protevangelium or first gospel. It is pronounced as part of the original judgment on Satan directly following the introduction of sin into a perfect creation. More important, it is the first promise of a Messiah.
Before mankind knew they had a problem, God’s solution was woven into the fabric of history.
Christmas, the coming of God’s Son into the world, is not an singular event; it is the final piece of the puzzle. We celebrate the birth of Christ, because of His greatness and goodness, but far more, because of our sin.
Unfortunately, it seems that part of the message has been muted, if not misplaced. We look around us during this season, and can only affirm that nothing says Christmas like parties, presents and gaily decorated homes. They are the celebratory elements of the season. And what are we celebrating? For some it is the biggest party of the year; for others, it is that, plus the birth of God’s son, the most beautiful, the sweetest baby ever.
Sadly, we are also told that the incidence of depression, even suicide, increases during the holidays. The reason, we are told, is that those without family or friends or money to buy presents are given a sharp reminder of how much they lack. Isn’t that ironic? Jesus Christ didn’t come into the world to attend our parties or worship in our lavishly decorated churches. He came to bring hope to the hopeless; a new beginning to those burdened with sin; an answer for those who were out of answers.
And, really, that is all of us—whether it seems true at this very moment.
The old carols are powerful theology, but they are so familiar to us we are apt sing past the great truths they so powerfully portray. And that is too bad because what they tell us is worth remembering and celebrating 365 days a year and sharing with everybody we meet.
God rest ye merry gentlemen, let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas day,
To save us all from Satan’s pow’r when we were gone astray,
Oh, tidings of comfort and joy!