First Sunday in Advent

Sunday, November 29
You will strike his heel, but he will crush your head.
Genesis 3:15b

Sin slithered into Eden, invaded perfection. Suffering, secrecy, stealth replaced companionship, completeness, comfort. Where once every desire knew promised fulfillment, insatiable hunger now controlled soul and body. Where vulnerability was the norm, shame shadowed creation.

BUT… Creator, Gracious, Lover God steps into the mess with a promise, a resolute word for the future. Sin will have its consequences, but the re-creating plan takes shape. This enemy of all that is good and beautiful and holy will deal a bruising wound: You will strike/bruise his heel… Speaking directly to the perpetrator of evil, God foretells that while his actions will cause unspeakable hurt, his ultimate demise is inevitable. Her (Eve’s) offspring—the Son to come—will deliver the deadly blow. Decisive success! Absolute victory!

This enemy dealt a bruising wound to the Son, and we mourn as we see the blows throughout Jesus’ life and at his death. The enemy sought to thwart God’s redemption in the wilderness, as friends departed, as family misunderstood, as followers betrayed.

Are you bruised as Advent 2020 begins? Is your spirit black and blue from the onslaught of the Evil One who yet inflicts his blows on God’s children? These months have been long with the physical ravages of disease, isolating loneliness, disrupted plans, and unmet expectations. But with sometimes weak faith, we cling to the belief that the deadly Edenic plot has been and will be overcome by the Son. We confidently travel through this Advent from Genesis to Revelation and shout for the world to hear:

Amen! (So be it!) Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God forever and ever. Amen!

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