IT BEGAN LONG, LONG AGO

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden at the time of the evening breeze, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. So the Lord God called out to the man and said to him, “Where are you?”

10 And he said, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked, so I hid.”

Genesis 3:8-10


When you hear the word ‘Advent’, what comes to mind? The Christmas story? The Incarnation of God into human life through Jesus Christ? Maybe the second Advent – when Jesus fulfills His promise to come again and reconcile and renew all things?

What if I told you that God began moving near to mankind from the very beginning?

In the Scripture, God uses language that the human mind can comprehend. He does this so that we might have some understanding, as limited as it may be, of who He is. In Genesis, God who by nature is Spirit, reveals Himself in physical form as He relates to mankind. It is apparent that He did this with Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.

What is so extraordinary about the passage above, is that God took the initiative in reaching out to sinful humanity. He made the first move. Adam and Eve had sinned and experienced feelings of guilt and shame for the first time. Their new instinct in their fallen state was to hide from God. Behind some inadequate tree, wearing inadequate coverings, they hear the voice of God calling out to them saying, “Where are you?”

Long ago, a pattern emerges. Humans sin and hide, then God seeks them. The greatest expression of this pattern is Jesus Christ, who “has come to seek and to save the lost.” (Luke 19:10)

God came looking for Adam and Eve so that they might face their sin, and so that He might tell them the first Gospel, “He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.” (Genesis 3:15)  In layman’s terms, [Jesus] will strike [Satan’s] head, and [Satan] will strike [Jesus’s] heel. This is good news for you. Through Jesus, we will defeat sin – because Jesus has sacrificed himself on Earth. God is still pursuing sinners. God is pursuing you.

He made the first move towards you. Will you move toward Him this Advent season?


Further Reading: Ephesians 2:13, Isaiah 55:6

Reflection: How has God been pursuing you recently? How have you responded to that pursuit?

Artwork Credit: Virgin Mary and Eve
Crayon & pencil drawing by Sr Grace Remington, OCSO
© 2005, Sisters of the Mississippi Abbey.

INTRODUCING ADVENT

For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of his government and of peace
there will be no end,
on the throne of David and over his kingdom,
to establish it and to uphold it
with justice and with righteousness
from this time forth and forevermore.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this.

Isaiah 9:6-7


Isaiah’s beautiful prophecy foretold a promise 700 years in the making. Though the world was dark, the light was coming. Though life was hard and toilsome, rest was coming. Though sin had enslaved, a rescuer was coming. A child, like no other, would be born. A Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace was coming. A Savior was on His way. This is the promise of Advent.

Advent comes from a Latin word meaning ‘coming’ or ‘arrival’. For centuries, Christians have reflected upon the first Advent – Jesus’s arrival as Messiah and the second Advent when Jesus will come as King.

Traditionally, the Advent season occurs in the weeks leading up to Christmas. There are a variety of ways in which people have celebrated the season. Some have lit candles on a wreath or stand, reflecting on the imagery of Jesus as the Light of the World. (John 1:4-9; 8-12) Others have used a window calendar, usually made with twenty-four “windows” you open. Each window contains a scripture or story used to reflect on the promise of a Savior who is coming, Jesus.

No matter how you celebrate the season, what is important is the opportunity to reflect on the Savior who came to fulfill God’s promise of rescue and redemption.

Over the next four weeks, devotions will be posted here on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. You can also have them delivered to your inbox by subscribing HERE. Additionally, we will share a weekly video to help you along the way. We hope this series can benefit Christians everywhere by making us slow down, pause, and reflect on the birth of Jesus. The Christmas season can be so busy and hectic that often, the most important aspects of the season get lost. Take some time during this Advent season to reflect on Jesus and the promise of a Savior who came to overcome sin and death forever.

ADVENT 2019 Preview

“The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel”, which means “God with us”. – Matthew 1:23

The story of Christmas is the story of God moving into the neighborhood. Of all the religions and worldviews in human history – this is what makes Christianity unique. God made the first move. From Genesis to the Gospels, God is moving towards people. He initiates reconciliation and relationship. The incarnation, when God took on human form in the person of Jesus Christ, is the beautiful story of God coming near mankind.

During this Advent season we will explore, reflect and celebrate the many ways God has came near us. Subscribe to get the latest content delivered straight to your inbox.