A Christmas Letter from ADAM, the First Man Alive

I remember that it hurt, looking at her hurt. I remember the gut-wrenching feeling of it all. I remember the silly fig leaves that Eve and I used as coverings as we hid from our Creator. At that very moment of shame and horror from committing the first sin in history, we felt Death. Only hours beforehand were we “being fruitful” and looking forward to “multiplying”. Up to this point everything we did joyfully flowed into further worship of our Creator. Things were perfect. When The Fall occurred, my initial thought was of how horribly passive I had been in protecting Eve from the deceptive serpent. I failed to lead my wife in the appropriate manner that I was designed for.

However, when God confronted us, I then realized the ultimate outcome of my actions … against God and God alone, had I sinned. For He gave only one simple rule, but in return I did evil in his sight. In a short moment, all the perfection of the world tore and everything became changed. Relationships and life became hollow and broken. Everything that people now see as normal on earth was once much much much sweeter in every way imaginable. And my sweet Eve…I remember that it hurt, looking at her hurt. I still remember it all as if it were yesterday. Since passing away, Eve and I have been shown infinitely undeserving mercy. We have been in the heavenly presence of the Triune God and dined the angels and countless descendants after us. The feeling here so indescribable that I cannot put it into words. All I can do is enjoy this merriment and worship him all the more. Even as I can remember my downfalls on earth, I can rejoice as I now have a warm perspective drawn from living in the presence of Christ.

I am currently writing this letter in heaven because today is a glorious day! The angels are flipping around with an excitement that has been anticipated for since the beginning of creation. They are celebrating a predestined plan put into motion before I was even created. Just a few months ago, Jesus left heaven to go into the world. And today He is born in the flesh to the virgin Mary! One of the angels just left to visit the family. Jesus, part of the triune Godhead, has left this wonderland in order to fix all that has been wrong with the world. To redeem to all creation that the big picture is the glory of God. Oh how he loves us so. I am in awe. Oh Oh Oh the depths of the riches and knowledge and wisdom of God! (Romans 11:33).

Through me sin entered the world, and death came through sin. From this occurrence death came to all people, because all have sinned. I have witnessed famine, murder, natural disasters, slavery, pride, hatred, wars, and many more calamities. Many generations after God’s promise to Eve and I (Genesis 3:15b), from heaven I saw God’s unfathomable promises given to Abraham, Moses, and the apocalyptic prophets. I have seen the miracles God laid out for his people and I gasped as they continually turned their backs on Him. I witnessed the Bible being written and ending with Malachi – followed by approximately 400 years of scriptural silence from the Lord… that is, until this very day of Jesus’ birth. The promise of the great and powerful kingdom and of a Savior given to the people seemed bleak from an earthly perspective. In heaven, however, it is impossible to fear that God would fall short of His promises. In His glory-filled presence we know that he wins. And now we see more of the epic picture He has been painting on the canvas of the earth.

I am looking at Jesus humbling himself to be born in Bethlehem. He could have been born in a palace with thousands of angels guarding him. But he chose a different route. He is 100% man and 100% God. For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace (Isaiah 53:6). I do not know how yet, but the Holy Spirit testifies to us that He will be despised and rejected by men, being acquainted with suffering. He will bear our grieves. Past, present, and future. I should pay harshly for my mistakes, but Jesus is taking my place.

As I continue to watch this epic story that God has had rolling since the beginning of time, there is no doubt that I will continue to be in awe. Let the earthly rivers and trees clap their hands. Let the grassy fields exult and the mountains sing with joy. The people of the present age and the people in the future are so utterly blessed. They have the Kingdom of God in the midst of them now. The beginning of the restoration of what was broken, initially by me, is there in the flesh. They get something that Moses, Isaiah, Abraham, and millions of other people just hoped for. They longed for this promise. But the people on earth get to know it and walk with it and see Him. It is not hope alone for them, but it is a concrete reality.

I ask that they celebrate this day for many centuries to come. Just as the angels and the rest of us in heaven are celebrating. May they never forget what this day truly means. May they run with perseverance the race set before them… throwing away the sin and weight that clings to them. I cannot wait until the time comes when we will give them a rich welcome into this eternal kingdom. I was once Your enemy, now I am seated at the table. Jesus, thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Some other verses used: Psalm 51:4, Romans 5:12, Jeremiah 2, Isaiah 55:12, Psalm 98:8, Colossians 2:9, Hebrews 11, 12:1)

A Tough Farewell

Mom and Dad came up to Raleigh with me the day after Christmas to help move me into my new apartment. I very much love that pair. It still baffles me at how I once thought they were demons sent here to give me chores. And now, we’re best of friends. It’s amazing how, as I get older, my eyes begin to open more to what my parents were doing – the bigger picture of their love for me and for my brothers.

Saying goodbye to family is always tough. This time, in particular, had a much larger meaning to me. I am not going off to college, still being in need of their assistance. This time I am starting my own life, far away from home. A new, professional career. An opportunity to make a wide range of mistakes and stumbles that will hurt me momentarily, while simultaneously growing me. After they finished helping me move in they got ready to head back to Atlanta (the goodbyes were in order). The goodbye to my mother was definitely more difficult.

You always hear of “father-daughter” relationships being awesome. “Mother-son” can be just as awesome. As we were hugging, I realized I did not want to let go at all. Letting go would somewhat symbolize that I am no longer that dependent child of hers that I once was. That “momma’s boy,” per se. I can only imagine what she was going through. In many ways, she was losing her first child. The first child she dreamt about having long before marriage. The first child she prayed for when her and my father saw a dim light of being able to even have children. The first child she held after giving birth. The first child that she had to potty-train. The first child she watched as he went to his first day of kindergarten & college. Her first child that she loved. She had to say goodbye now.

Please do not hear me wrong now, by no means will our relationship end here. Since that Wednesday I’ve spoken on the phone to my parents constantly. Lord willing, that will continue for a long time, with many many visits in between. I’ll probably even move closer to them eventually. The underlying point to all of this is something that I am continually learning and growing in:

There is nothing nothing nothing on this earth (or “under the sun” as King Solomon says) that can and will completely fulfill me or fulfill anyone else. I love my parents dearly, but I have to now be my own man and grow in my life and not rely on them to save me. If I place my parents as “ultimate” in my life, that leaves me no room for me to grow. Conversely, if my parents put me on an ultimate pedestal and think that I’m going to fulfill them, then they are drastically losing that battle right now and should be depressed because I am now 7 hours away and beginning my own life. And it goes on and on. If a girl places her boyfriend as ultimate in her life then she has doomed her boyfriend. He was not meant to bring her complete joy and he will disappoint her. Not only that, he will feel the weight she’s putting on him and will begin to pull away. Girlfriends too. Athletes can’t put their sport as ultimate either because they WILL get older, weaker, and slower. My beautiful MacBook Pro that I love will eventually be in a junkyard or garage sale one day. Neither can i place myself as ultimate. I can jog and eat healthy all I want, but I will still age. In my health and youth, I can still get cancer. There is some enjoyment in the many things we do and receive, but it is temporary and not eternal. It will always leave us wanting more. #DiminshingReturns

The Bible screams for us to hear this truth. Not only does the Bible do this, but so does the secular world. Every magazine has articles of “how to better our love life” or “stay looking young”. There are numerous self-help books on how to keep our family close, how to improve your workout plan, or improve your cooking. This occurs everywhere and in everything because at our innermost being we know that we are not fulfilled by anything on this earth. But we keep trying to fix it on our own. And each time we do so we fall short. There is never an answer for this issue besides the one, single answer that the Bible gives.

The book of Ecclesiastes, for example, constantly reiterates that we must look beyond the sun for lasting fulfillment. Jesus Christ is the only thing that will solve the issues that we have. Doing it our own way leads to death (Romans 8). What leads to life and peace is life in the Spirit. My new job will not heal me or complete me. My parents, whom I love dearly, will never fulfill me. I need something that will transcend my weaknesses. From Genesis to Revelations….Jesus is saying “I’ve got it. Trust me. Come to me. I’ve got what you need.” This is where our joy lies. The Bible teaches that God sent me to Clemson and now into Raleigh at this appointed time so that I would seek him further. For (1) the praise of His is glorious grace and (2) that I may find full joy in Him (Acts 17:24-27, Isaiah 46:8-11).

‘Oh the depths of your love God. May you continue to cloud me with your presence wherever I go and in whatever I do.’