Sunday, December 23, 2012

Dec. 23 4th Sunday in Advent

 Read:  Luke 2:1-7   Key verse: "The time came for the baby to be born." (vs. 6b)

"At just the right time God sent His Son, born of a woman, born under the law." (Galatians 4:4)

You've heard the expression, "timing is everything."   Time is an ever present reality of life.  We are told that in our culture that time is the most valuable commodity.  We wear  watches to tell what time it is.   In most team sports the game is over when time runs out,   But time and timing are too different things.  In time,  one moment is the same as another.  In timing, there are moments that are much more important than others.  The moment of Christ's birth is one of those crucial moments in history.  God's timing is perfect!

"At just the right time God sent His Son." It is said that the time of Jesus' birth was the perfect moment for the gospel to happen and spread.  It was a time of relative peace.   Most of the known world spoke the same language.   Roman roads were excellent for traveling to get the word out about God's love in Christ.   The timing of Caesar's census allowed Jesus to be born where prophecy said it would happen.  The timing of Christmas was no accident.  God was orchestrating the whole process.

That Jesus was born in time is another fact about the incarnation.    Jesus was born "under the law" and "of a woman."  All that seems obvious to us now, but think about it:  His birth from eternity into time, from total freedom into restrictions, and from glory into humanity causes us to again ask, "how can this be?"   We can't fully understand it, but it is truly wonderful to realize its significance.  God became one of us!  He knows what it is like to struggle to be on time.  He can identify with our struggle with the law of sin and death.(and all the laws of physics, nations, nature etc.)  He got hungry, felt cold, knew sickness and when he stubbed his toe it hurt.  He was tempted in every way we are tempted yet was without sin.  Yet, He still knew and now knows what sin feels like because the Bible says He became sin for us.

When Jesus was baptized by John (another example of God's good timing) he was being baptized for the remission of sin.  He was identifying totally with us in a way that would lead to a painful death on a rugged Roman cross.  He would cry out, as we so often have, "My God, my God why have you forsaken me?"  He knows our life because He has lived it.  Because He has lived it, He can guide us through the rough times.

Let us enjoy this Christmas season and every season by trusting God's perfect timing.  Things may not be going as you want them to, but God is right on top of it.  He will work it out if you trust Him.  He never says, "opps!"  He never has to apologize for being late.   You may be wondering why times are so bad.   We can't understand it all, but we can place our faith in the One who does.  He's got the whole wide world in His hands!  It is time to trust the Savior of the world.

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