"He will crush your head, and you will strike his heel. "
The first hint of Christmas comes soon after the fall into sin, and it's in the form of a strange promise. This promise prophesies more of what we get with sin-conflict.
We are bone-weary of conflict. We cringe when we read the daily death toll in the Middle East. We are burdened by genocide in Darfur. Is it surprising that so many people tune out real news and settle for pseudo-news stories-like reports of Britney Spears's buzz-cut, or the battle over the burial site of Anna Nicole Smith?
If you are tired of conflict, you'll be glad to know that the conflict anticipated in Genesis 3 will eventually bring all other conflicts to an end. The "offspring of the serpent" will strike the heel of the woman's offspring. But that wounded heel will come down and crush the serpent's head.
The Christmas story brings that prophesy near to fulfillment. Christmas introduces the main actor in God's drama of redemption. The real battle to bring about God's ultimate victory over demonic powers is about to begin. But the victory doesn't come without cost. That's why the Christmas story isn't just bedtime reading for preschoolers. It's a story for people of all ages who have eyes open to the age-old conflict of good and evil-and who want to know how the story will end.
Gracious Father, your Son has come to engage in the one battle that will bring peace. We give thanks that as he bears terrible wounds for our sake, he strikes the final blow. Amen.
See God's love, power, presence, and purpose in your life every day!