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Advent Devotional: First Sunday of Advent

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With the Poor and Mean and Lowly

December 1, 2019

And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden. Genesis 3:8 (see Genesis 3:8-15)

Even before they could wipe the juice from their chins, Adam and Eve knew that they were guilty. It may have been the most anticlimactic moment in human history. Satan had promised Eve that she would be “like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).

What did Eve know? That she was naked—hardly the intellectual insight she had been promised! But it was not only their physical nakedness that shamed our first parents. They also felt exposed psychologically, ashamed of their souls, and unwilling to be known for who they were.

Their sin is universal as well as personal. Adam’s fall was our fall, the fall of humanity into sin. It results not only in our alienation from God, but also in our alienation from each other.

Yet even in the first couple’s expulsion from the garden God planted the seeds of hope, declaring to the serpent: “I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel” (Genesis 3:15). This is the protoevangelium—the Bible’s very first reference to the message of salvation.

The word "offspring" is both singular and plural. As a plural it means that Eve’s descendants will be at war with Satan. As a singular, it means that one individual, a single champion (namely, Jesus Christ), will destroy the serpent by crushing his head.

Through the gift of his Son Jesus, God has rescued us from the power of Satan and the consequences of our first parents’ fall. Paradise was lost; but through his own redeeming love, God promises that one day it will be regained.


Reflective Question

With God’s help, what steps can you take to repair your estrangement from God and others?

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