How did you do with the journaling and prayer prompts yesterday? Did you love it? Did you not love it but did them anyway? I hope so! Thank you for humoring me. :) Seriously, there is something to be said for using more than one of our senses (using our eyes and our hands) to interact with Scripture as we take time and effort to write out God’s Word.
Let’s jump in today…this is a heavy one so get ready.
Today’s Scripture reading: Genesis 3: 14-15
**From THE VOICE translation Advent Reading***
God (to the serpent): What you have done carries great consequences.
Now you are cursed more than cattle or wild beasts.
You will writhe on your belly forever,
consuming the dust out of which man was made.
I will make you and your brood enemies
of the woman and all her children;
The woman’s child will stomp your head,
and you will strike his heel.
(to the woman) As a consequence of your actions,
I will increase your suffering—the pain of childbirth
And the sorrow of bringing forth the next generation.
You will desire your husband; but rather than a companion,
He will be the dominant partner.
Today’s reading is another of those seemingly not-so-warm-and-fuzzy types of Scripture we would not expect from a cheerfully festive Advent reading. On the surface the words do not conjure up the spiritual concepts that we often attribute to Christmas. But, as we are seeking God’s Awe and Wonder this Advent we’ve committed to looking past the seemingly familiar. We’ve decided to do things differently this year in order to embrace the sparkle, the fascination, the majesty of just what exactly Advent-the coming of our Lord Jesus- is all about.
In Genesis 3 we see the fall of man (and woman!) as Adam and Eve let themselves slip away from obedience to God and followed the temptings of the Serpent (Satan). Oh the despair they felt! Oh the shame and guilt! Oh the longing to be back in that pure fellowship with God!
But OH! the Awe and Wonder which follows as generations of time pass by to add chapters of the STORY of the Gospel. The good news of the coming babe in a manger, the sought after King by many. Yes, thousands of years passed. Many lost hope and fell away from the faith. But God never stepped back from His promise: to redeem US––You and Me!–– back to that pure fellowship with God Almighty from the days of the garden of Eden.
In our Scripture reading for today we see our Almighty both banishing the Serpent (our enemy) and proclaiming JESUS’ coming victory over sin. In one sentence God foretells this Gospel–the good news that Jesus will overcome––as well as proclaims Truth that we are subject to sin. Oh how we slip and fall into temptation daily, yes. But that is not the end of the story.
This coming King, born in a lowly manger, is and will be victorious over the great enemy of our day. We know the end of the story…
I looked up and saw that heaven had opened. Suddenly, a white horse appeared. Its rider is called Faithful and True, and with righteousness He exercises judgment and wages war. His eyes burn like a flaming fire, and on His head are many crowns. His name was writtenbefore the creation of the world, and no one knew it except He Himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name He was known by is The Word of God. 14 And the armies of heaven, outfitted in fine linen, white and pure, were following behind Him on white steeds. (Revelation 19: 11-14 THE VOICE)
Will you join me in Awe and Wonder as we join the first book of the Bible, Genesis,with the final book, Revelation and worship alongside the angles and saints crying out…
And I heard what seemed to be an immense crowd speaking with one voice—it was like the sound of a roaring waterfall, like the sound of clashing thunder.
Multitude(in unison): Praise the Lord!
For the Lord our God,
the All Powerful, reigns supreme.
Now is the time for joy and happiness.
He deserves all the glory we can give Him.
For the wedding feast has begun; the marriage of the Lamb to His bride has commenced,
and His bride has prepared herself for this glorious day.
Awe and Wonder:
So what is our part in THE STORY, the gospel story, the Advent? What do we do with all of this Scripture about sin, victory over sin and redemption?
Yes, a very churchy word but still valid and relevant. To repent is to claim our sin. To name our sin. To first ask for forgiveness––knowing that Jesus made us right with God on the cross. And then change our ways.
To worship God in Awe and Wonder this Advent is to prepare our hearts for His birth–––the celebration of His coming––by evaluating our behavior. Taking a hard look at our thoughts. Taking a deep look at our heart condition.
Then REPENT: turn away from the dark sin and toward the light of abundance and LIFE Jesus brought that night in the manger. The life fulfilled upon His death on the cross and resurrection from the dead three days later.
Yes. The seemingly familiar of the season is to feel warm and fuzzy about the sweet, chubby babe in the manger. But the Awe and Wonder of Advent is victory over sin fulfilled as that sweet, chubby babe in the manger became our strong, majestic King and Savior.
Take some time to pray through some sin issues you have in your life. Ask God to reveal what needs recognition, forgiveness and repentance. Use your journal to write out this prayer and the repentance you are committing to as you seek after His Awe and Wonder today.
I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Leave a comment…let’s chat!
Check back in tomorrow for Day 4!