After Eve’s confession of her sin in the Garden of Eden, we find the first mention of Christmas. God first talks with Adam and Even about the consequences of their actions, before promising that an Offspring of Eve will make the wrong right and crush the head of the serpent. It’s brief, but if you listen closely, you can see the first hopeful notes of Christmas:
A Savior is coming.
I doubt you’ll get any cards in the mail this year with a picture of a serpent in the garden, but it’s just as much a part of the Christmas story as the lowing cattle away in the manger. In fact, if you look closely at classical paintings of Mary when the angel tells her she will have a child, you’ll often see a snake inconspicuously coiled nearby, ready to strike.
This year, rethink the way you Christmas and beware of the devil’s “evil schemes”. (2 Cor. 2:11)
Use this season to remember Satan is still plotting against you. As he targeted Adam and Eve, so he targets the people of God today. Scripture would suggest the Deceiver doesn’t usually make life harder. (That’s not very deceiving.) His tactics today are the same as they were in Eden–he tempts you with more pleasure, more ease, more power.
When you prepare for Christmas by fleeing from the Devil, you’ll be a safe distance when God crushes him.
So the Lord God said to the serpent, “Because you have done this… And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; and he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.”
What does today’s reading tell you about people? (Yourself and others.)
What does today’s reading tell you about God?
How do these ideas change the way you Christmas this year?