Great Expectations (Advent Series 2015)
The First Need for Christmas
Although our traditions tend to remind us of the manger scene and the heavenly choir who gathered to give the Messiah a more transcendent welcome than the shepherds could offer, the Christmas story begins long before that well-known night in Bethlehem.
The story of the birth of Jesus Christ into the world starts in the Garden of Eden. God made the world and set aside a Garden, and placed a man and woman there. They were made in the image of God, to know and enjoy him while spreading his kingdom throughout the earth.
God was there with them, and this world was very good.
This is what each of us is made for: a world where we live with God, loving him, and experiencing the peace that comes from everything being set up exactly right; God as the King, personally present with his people who know happiness, satisfaction, contentment, and true joy.
But this world did not last. Eve believed that God was holding the best back from them, and Adam decided follow her. Friendship with God was broken. We were no longer fit to enjoy his presence. We were expelled from his garden. Peace and joy were lost.
This is where the story of Christmas starts. The incarnation is the story of the presence of God with his people being regained through a promised Redeemer. This Advent season, walk with us as we wait along with the Old Testament saints for the promised Redeemer, in the hopes of seeing Christmas as part of a larger, longer, and better story.