The English have the 12 days of Christmas in song. The high churches have the 24 (ish) days of advent. Here at Crave Something More, I’ll be writing a series called the “21 Days of CSM Christmas.” Starting December 5 and finishing on Christmas Day, I will write once a day about all things Christmas, in the hopes that we will all continue to see Jesus as the greatest satisfaction to our soul’s deepest cravings.
Day 2: The Hint of Christmas in the Garden
If you consume any sort of media these days, you’re likely party to the sport of Christmas. By sport, I mean the struggle that rages on the field of a slowly dying religious society between those who seek to destroy Christmas (or so one team says) and those who seek to shove Christmas on everyone whether they like it not (or so the other team says). Just as businesses have come to count on the massive revenues generated during this season, so too have talk radio hosts and bloggers and reporters come to expect the instant fodder that’s created every year as December rolls around.
No matter that much of our Christmas celebrations—the tree, decorations, gift-giving, Santa Claus, Father Christmas, feasting, carols, card-exchanges—have no Biblical significance at all. Even our most religious traditions—the Christmas hymns, special worship services, nativity scenes—have no Biblical basis. From the Bible’s standpoint, the celebration of Christmas as a holiday doesn’t exist.
But that doesn’t mean the Bible doesn’t tell a Christmas story. It just means the Bible doesn’t tell our kind of Christmas story.
The story begins where most good stories begin: at the beginning. “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.” Here is the word of God, or more accurately, the Word of God, doing something amazing. His Word is making something out of nothing. He’s making everything out of nothing. As humans, we can create things, but we also created out of something that already exists. God, God’s Word, creates out of things that do not exist. So already this story starts with a bang, with a hint of mystery, almost with a sense of otherworldly power.
John and Paul (not those ones, but the other ones) clarify something important for us: That this Word is not a force, it’s not a power, it’s a person! “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” John writes. And Paul chimes in: “All things were created by Him and through Him and for Him.”
We need John and Paul to help us make this connection, but we don’t need them to meet the Word. Moses introduces us to this Person back at the beginning of his story. God has created all things through His Word, including people and a garden. And God puts those people in a garden, and He loves them, and lavishes them with beautiful things, and enjoys His relationship with them. But they soon fall prey to the same thing we all fall prey to: they sought to satisfy themselves with something other than God.
“Where are you?” God calls to the man. “Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” And the man points his finger at the woman, and the woman points her finger at the serpent, and the serpent has nowhere to point. All three are responsible, and all three bear the burden of their sin.
This is where we see the Word. “I will put enmity between you and the woman,” God says to the serpent, “and between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” A seed of woman would one day come, and while Satan would win a skirmish, he would lose the battle.
Christmas marks the arrival of this seed, the beginning of the fulfillment of this prophecy, the first shots of the Battle at Calvary, and we are free from their burden because He came. Let us be grateful today, as we look forward to the Christmas story we will write with our families this year, and let us remember that God’s story is the best of stories.
For the rest of the 21 Days of Crave Something More Christmas, go here.