I was ahead of the game. I already had the Christmas tree up and decorated. I stood back and admired my work. I had some of the gifts wrapped and already under the tree. It was perfect, just the way I wanted it to be.
And isn’t that how we are? We strive for it, work toward it, aim at it. It’s perfection. That need for perfection is in us, and the Christmas season is no exception. We want the tree just right. The mantel decorations just might need to match. We want the outside lights and ornaments to cast a lovely glow.
Perhaps that desire is part of our heritage from long ago.
The Bible begins with perfection: perfect location, perfect garden, perfect environment, perfect people. Adam and Eve had it all. They were naked and totally unashamed because there was nothing in them for which to feel shame or guilt or embarrassment. Eden was filled with fruits that were totally satisfying and grew in bounty. Beauty reigned, nothing marred their stunning vistas. Animals were their friends. Adam knew each by the name he had given it. There was no fear, no jealousy, no corruption of any kind. Evil was unheard of in their world because it hadn’t yet entered the scene. Perfection was the name of the game.
And God came for evening visits. The One who spoke the world into being and breathed His own breath into Adam, and fashioned Eve into Adam’s companion, their Creator, their God, was their honored guest and dearest friend, every single night.
And then just three short chapters into the first book of the Bible, Genesis, it all changed. Adam and Eve listened to the sly, deceptive suggestions of satan in the guise of the serpent and evil made its appearance.
From that point on the world became a hostile place. Suddenly shame and fear were rampant. Adam and Eve hid because they knew they were guilty. Pain and suffering became a part of the world’s culture. Thorns were toiled against, food labored for. Sin now ruled everyone’s life. Evil descended on the planet, and death became the final destination for all flesh. Imperfection was now the new sheriff in town.
A few short days after my perfect tree was decorated and brightly shining out its warm Christmas glow, it decided it would rebel against its perfect state. My tree fell over. Broken bulbs, smashed lights, and even a few broken tree branches, in my tree’s fallen state, perfection was now out of the question.
Adam and Eve rebelled. So then, in their fallen state, perfection was suddenly out of the question, and imperfection became a very real part of our lives.
It sounds hopeless and bleak and hostile and it would be except right there in the middle of the mess and awfulness and heartbreak of the sin, God made a most beautiful promise to Adam and Eve and to all of us.
In Genesis 3:15 God promised that someday the seed of the woman would crush the head of the serpent.
Christmas was on the way.