Advent Series- December 1

(Apologies for the mix up!)

Before Advent begins;
Get the family together and make a poster of a path for "Angel through the Ages" (see article earlier this week) or you can do a poster of a Christmas tree...or other tree for a Jesse tree 
The children can take turns drawing pictures to decorate the poster; one a day for each day of Advent.
Don't forget the Advent Wreath! (It's more fun listening to a story by candlelight!)

The history of the world properly begins with God, our Creator, Who Himself has no beginning.
We have all heard the story of creation; how God created the world out of nothing in 6 days.
It is easy to remember what God created on each day, since the first 3 days and the last 3 days are related!
The Bible says, 'In the beginning, God created heaven and earth, And the earth was void and empty."(Gen 1:1-2)
So on the first 3 days, God began by giving a form to His creation. 
The next 3 days God spent filling His creation,

On Day 1 God created the light---on Day 4 He created the sun, moon and stars to shine with that light
On Day 2 God created the sky and separated the waters above from the waters below--Day 5 He filled them with the birds and fish
On Day 3 God created the land---Day 6 He filled the land with animals and man

On Day 6 God made the first man and woman; our first parents Adam and Eve.
We are all descendants of Adam and Eve.
God gave Adam and Eve everything to make them happy. His greatest gift to them was sanctifying grace; His own life in their souls. If they were faithful to God, God planned that they would have a happy life here on earth, followed by eternal happiness in Heaven.

God gave only one command for Adam and Eve to obey, and they did not remain faithful.
We all know what happened....the devil tempted Eve and she ate, then she convinced Adam to do the same.
There are so many lessons to be learned from the sin of Adam and Eve;

1)We learn the importance of keeping busy and avoiding the occasions of sin
 God gave the garden of Eden for Adam and Eve to tend. Had Eve been busy she would not have been loitering by the forbidden tree in the first place

2) We learn the importance of saying no to temptations right away- when the devil spoke to her, Eve listened and asked questions, eventually giving in

3) We learn the importance of not becoming attached to ourselves and the things of this world- Eve disobeyed because she wanted to become like God, knowing good and evil.....how often does the sin of pride lead us to look at things we should not!

4) The importance of not giving in to the pressure of our companions- Adam gave in to the pleadings of Eve and dragged the whole human race with him. How often do we come away from socializing with others feeling as if we had not put our best foot forward!? How good it would it be if instead we could leave others feeling encouraged

During Advent we make sacrifices in order to detach ourselves from the things of this world, so that we can grow closer to God.
By this we show God that we choose Him before ourselves.
We do not make sacrifices in order to be miserable, but rather to prepare ourselves for the best kind of happiness.....Eternal Happiness!

After their sin, Adam and Eve lost God's special gifts. They had to leave the garden of Eden. They had to suffer and eventually they would die.
The worst thing that happened (even worse than suffering and death) was that they lost God's life in their souls. The gates of heaven were closed.

God did not leave them totally hopeless, however. He promised to send a Savior, Who would come to make up for sin and reopen the gates of heaven.
This promise that God made is called the "Protoevangelium" or "first message"
In Genesis 3:15, God foretells the coming of Jesus and Mary when he told the devil, "I will put enmities between thee and the woman and thy seed and her seed; she shall crush thy head and thou shalt lie in wait for her heel."

It is interesting to note that when Our Lord spoke to Mary, He called her, "Woman"....she is "The Woman" of Genesis 3:15!

The whole Old Testament has as its central idea, the coming of the Savior, Who would restore the old friendship between God and man.
God foretells the Woman and her Seed crushing the head of Satan ....and we will see in the Old Testament, there is quite alot of head crushing going on! (and alot of women who do it, too!)
And each time it is a foreshadowing of our Redemption.

Everything in the Old Testament leads up to the sacrifice of Our Lord on the cross.
It is at that very moment we see the Woman and her Seed crushing the head of Satan on the hill of Golgotha, which means, "Place of the Skull"

We are in for some interesting days ahead!

From the creation of Adam to the coming of Our Lord there is about 4000 years.
The 4 weeks of Advent symbolizes these 4000 years of waiting for the Savior to come.

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