A promise is a binding offer or commitment between two or more parties. The
trustworthiness of a promise is only as good as the one making it. A promise from an
unscrupulous person carries little value.
There are many promises in the Bible, but from the very beginning, we have a promise of good
news through a Savior. Take a moment and read Genesis 3:14-15 and Luke 2:21-38.
In Genesis 3, God reveals His redemption plan for the first time. The details of this plan would
unfold more throughout the Old Testament and ultimately be fulfilled in Christ in the New
Testament. But here at the beginning of God’s story—in the first book of the Bible—is God’s
revelation of salvation. God tells Satan he would cause wounds, but his head would ultimately
The seed of the woman would conquer the seed of the serpent. The Savior of the world, Jesus,
would be born through a woman. And Satan’s plans for darkness would disappear in the Light of
the world. Christmas begins in Genesis.
In Luke 2, two unexpected characters emerge. They see what God promised in Genesis.
Simeon has one great hope in life, promised by the Holy Spirit. He will physically see the
Messiah before he dies. Anna was a prophetess sharing the miracle of the Christ-child. How
many firstborn rituals have they both witnessed? Hundreds? Likely thousands. Through the
Spirit, they both know Mary and Joseph’s child is the one.
Simeon sees Jesus for who He is. Anna prophecies one more time. What he knows internally,
she proclaims externally. The Messiah is here. The message of the nativity comes through
unexpected messengers. Not priests. Not Pharisees. Not scribes. Not influencers. Not the rich
and powerful. The Christmas message comes through the faithful.
Advent builds an expectation of Jesus fulfilling His promise to save. What is Advent? The word
means “coming” or “arrival.” We know Jesus came as the Christ-child and expect Him to come
again. The first coming (or first advent) is the incarnation of Christ. The second coming (or
second advent) occurs when Jesus returns to judge the living and the dead. Advent during the
holidays occurs on the four Sundays before Christmas Day, a season of expectation celebrated
by the church.
The promise of Christmas never fails to deliver.