I love the colored pencil drawing “Mary Consoles Eve” by Sr. Grace Remington. It beautifully depicts the hope and redemption of the Christmas story in an exchange between Eve and Mary. Eve is clutching the forbidden fruit with her head bowed low in shame. Her hair covers her naked body while the serpent is intertwined around her legs. Mary attempts to look in her eyes, but Eve’s gaze is fixed on the hidden fruit in Mary’s womb. Mary has gently placed Eve’s hand on her belly, but Eve can’t fully grasp what is growing on the inside. Mary’s cousin, Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptist, would later exclaim…

“blessed is the fruit of your womb” (Luke 2:42).

The fruit, of course, is Jesus Christ. His victory over death is the reason why Mary’s left foot is crushing the head of the snake. The drawing symbolizes a passage of scripture found in Genesis 3:15, in which God spoke directly after the fall of man. As God pronounced judgment over Satan, He declared…

“I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”

Jesus is the offspring that would deliver Satan’s crushing blow to the head by allowing death only to bruise him temporarily. Jesus Himself said He came to destroy the works of the devil.

In the picture, Mary appears to be holding a secret that eludes Eve. She is pregnant with hope for Eve, and all who would come after her.

But, it would be 76 generations before the Messiah was born.

As the centuries unfolded, God offered greater insight about the Messiah through the prophets, yet generations came and went without a Savior. As the Old Testament came to a close around 400 BC, it seemed as though God had gone completely silent.

Nothing was recorded in scripture until the birth of Jesus, but a lot was going on in the world.

During the 300s BC, Alexander the Great and the Greek Empire conquered the entire ancient world. In doing so, they made everyone speak the same language, Greek. As Greece declined, Rome rose to power with their incredible transportation system and ancient highways.

By the time Jesus was born, the world spoke the same language and was united in travel by the Roman Roads. After Jesus’s death and resurrection, when His followers wanted to spread the Gospel to all nations, they had the language and transportation to do so.

By God’s design, all the pieces came together, and the prophecies aligned at the proper time.

Jesus was conceived in a specific way, with a specific heritage, so that he could be born in a specific place, die in a specific way, and the Gospel could be spread quickly all over the known world.

The story of Christmas is a reminder that God always has a plan, and He is faithful to watch over His word to perform it.

He never rushes the process but instead divinely arranges the puzzle pieces so that when everything aligns just right, the fullness of His promise can be revealed. As we reflect on Christmas, we are reminded that hope requires waiting and that God’s will happens in God’s timing. We have a reason to hope because we can trust the One in whom we have placed our hope.

Carissa Raderstorf