“And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, and you will strike his heel.” Genesis 3:15

It only took six days for God to create the world.  He spoke everything into existence, from the majestic Alps to the fluttering Monarch butterfly, to the simple blades of grass.  Then, instead of words, He used His hands to create man, and gave him His very breath to bring him to life.  This creation was different from everything else He made because He chose to create man in His own image, reflecting His creativity, intelligence, and character.  God rested on the seventh day and said It was good.  The Bible does not record exactly how long it was, but we can safely assume that, within a short period of time, Eve’s encounter with Satan changed creation’s perfection forever.  Their disobedience led to consequences for not only Adam and Eve, but also for generations of humanity to come.  Although things looked bleak for mankind, God, with unending mercy and infinite wisdom, had a plan in place to redeem His beloved creation.  He told Eve that someday her offspring would conquer sin!  That promise came to fruition about four thousand years later in the birth of a little baby in Bethlehem.

Crayon and pencil by Sr. Grace Remington, OCSO Copyright 2005, Sisters of the Mississippi Abbey

Christmas has not always been a holly jolly season for me filled with wonder.  Some Christmases have been hard, like the one our family faced five years ago.  Christmas plans were in place, gifts were waiting to be bought when we found out the unexpected news that my husband had been laid off.  With our income being cut by more than half and the uncertainty of the future, we quickly changed plans and simplified our Christmas.  Yet, seeds of bitterness and anger about the injustice of the situation welled up within me.  Despite my hardened heart, God used the generosity of others to demonstrate His grace and mercy.  Within a few short weeks, financial blessings poured in that more than made up for our loss of income during the Christmas season.  These blessings reminded me during the next hard six months while my husband remained unemployed that God had a plan, just like He did in Bethlehem!

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