By Gabriella Kopas
December 20, 2023
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. Gen 3:15
I was not raised in a Christian home. Jesus pursued me and delivered me right before I turned 20. By then I knew a lot of things – at least I thought so – and formulated quite a few opinions I was proud of. One of those was my clear value that I would never give in to some shallow persuasion regarding important matters. I set my mind to investigate and study the things I was invited to give my life, time, and passion to.
The introduction to the gospel, the good news of salvation in Christ, took me by surprise. It seemed undeserved, and quite frankly even unfair. Only later I realized that only the greatest One, the Creator of all things could afford to be so generous. Nevertheless, I treated this good news with the same curiosity and open mind I tried to tend to all things. To my astonishment the gospel (and for that matter all the great teachings of the Christian faith) did not stand on a few scattered claims in the Bible taken out of context. The more I investigated, the clearer it became to me: God seemed to have a plan all along.
As we read in the Book of Genesis, right after the fall of Adam and Eve – the man and woman who were created to bear the image of God on Earth – God declared the first promise about the One who would bring an end to the spiritual calamity they brought upon all humankind: the One will “crush the head” of the enemy. But still, I also saw where all the doubt, the envy, the anger, and the rebellion came from that I experienced within myself and witnessed in all the world.
However, the biggest surprise for me was that God decided to prepare a way for all of us to return to Him. He did not give up on His creation and those made in His image. He had a plan all along – the sent One will defeat God’s enemy and bring his dominion to an end. And this thread of mercy and unceasing love was present everywhere I opened my new Bible, still bearing the smell of a new book. Even though I have grown older, I am still in awe how masterfully intertwined all the promises, truths, and declarations of the Word of God are.
As I read the Old Testament, I could see over and over again the crafty attempts of God’s ultimate enemy to corrupt God’s redemption, to lead His people astray, to destroy those He called, and even to destroy His promised Victor. The ongoing conflict God prophesied in Genesis three kept returning with new ways of deception, creative lies, and temptations hard to resist. But God kept showing me His works in all those whom He has called. There was no need for them to be perfect or super-human. It was all God’s mercy – He was their strength, He became their wisdom, He was the source of their courage.
All of this gave me a rising hope. Every day I faced anything hard in my life I could rely on the same hope that all the great heroes and heroines of faith had: my God knows the way out of my pitiful state. Even better, He became the Way. Yes, even for me.
This Advent I returned to this wonderful verse that contains the first hint of the great promise after the original betrayal. Every year we remember the first coming of our Saviour, the coming seed of Eve mentioned in this verse. He came and fulfilled His mission. We read in the New Testament about Jesus’ birth, ministry, crucifixion, and glorious resurrection to life.
The grand finale, however, is still to come. Every Advent season we remind ourselves of His promise to return, of His reign, and of the new heaven and new earth God promised for those who are in Christ. We eagerly await His return, therefore we are to watch and be ready. Ready to welcome Him, to serve Him, with our hearts clean and obedient to bear His image in the world around us. His return is closer with each new day! Rejoice!
Our mighty Father and merciful Lord, pour out your Holy Spirit upon your children all over the world, so that we might shine your Light. Fill our hearts and mouths with your Word. Let our life overflow with forgiveness and love so the world may know You, the promised One, are coming back in victory and with redemption. Amen.
Rev. Dr. Gabriella Kopas is an elder in the Global Methodist Church; she currently serves as the the Presiding Elder of the Slovakia Provisional District.