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Where do you start reading when you begin the Christmas story?
I typically think of the Christmas story as beginning in Luke and going from there. It's the traditional way I've sort of "done Christmas."
This year, though, our church provided us with an Advent devotional. And the first reading was from Genesis.
Here at Camp, our youth weekend theme for the Fall season was "Epic." The kids went through a curriculum that invited them to see the full story of the Bible- that the Bible is full of epic stories, and that, in fact, the whole Bible is one enormous epic story.
Christmas is the same way.
It's easy for me to chunk the Bible into smaller stories with neat labels- one is "Noah and the Ark," one is labeled "Creation," one is "Christmas," one is "Easter."
But in truth, all of these stories fit together.
They all point to the same thing: that God wanted to be with us. That humanity fought and fights against Him and seeks to control and overpower and have things our own way. But God kept pursuing us, kept loving us, until finally He sent His Son to live in human skin and then to die for us so we could be with Him forever.
It's an incredible story.
And it doesn't begin in Luke.
The hope of a Savior starts way back in Genesis. It's easy to focus on the singular event of a virgin birth, of tiny baby Jesus and stars and stables. And somehow, I think focusing on the Nativity alone takes away so much of the majesty of that moment.
This wasn't just a new, miraculous baby.
This was the long-awaited Savior. The One who was sent to be God with us, the fulfillment of God's plan to redeem humanity. All the hopes of history were born of this miraculous gift. This is the hoped for Savior.
(The whole "starting Advent in Genesis" thing isn't new, and it's also the basis behind the Jesse Tree. If you're looking for an awesome Jesse Tree resource, check out The Greatest Gift: Unwrapping the Full Love Story of Christmas, or Unwrapping the Greatest Gift: A Family Celebration of Christmas- which looks like it would be great to use with kids.)
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