Today's Reading: Genesis 3:8-15
The story of Christmas doesn't begin with an angel or a young girl, it begins way back in Genesis. To really grasp what happened with the birth of Jesus, we have to understand why this was needed in the first place.
The birth was the fulfillment of a promise - a promise to make things right. Human were first created in order to be image bearers of the Creator. But with the fall into sin and brokenness, humanity no longer reflected the perfect image of God. In order to regain what was lost, God had to step and do something. He could rely on humans to fix the brokenness because of our inclination to do things for ourselves. Besides, what is broken cannot fix itself.
So God made a promise. He promised that the day would come when he would put "enmity between [the serpent] and the woman." In other words, while the human race might now be buddy-buddy with the one who caused us to fall into sin, one day that toxic relationship would be destroyed. That's grace and an incredibly important piece of the overall story of the gospel!
However, the entire scene in Genesis 3 is something more like what happened at that first Christmas...
Adam and Eve sinned and were no longer worthy of being in God's perfect presence. And God knows that. Yet he still comes to them! One of the names given to Jesus in the Bible is "Immanuel," which means "God With Us." Almost immediately after the fall, God becomes Immanuel. Rather than cutting himself off from humans, he comes to them and ministers to them, and promises to fix the brokenness. The people were afraid, but God was with them. With the very first Christmas, God voluntarily and by his grace and love, came to broken humanity, dwelt among us, and was with us. And in doing so, he made things right...he fixed the brokenness.