“When the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman.” (Galatians 4:4)
Here we go again! Where does the time go? It only seems like yesterday when we were celebrating Christmas last year! Does life seem to speed up the older we get? It sure seems as if it does.
It’s funny how time is viewed in different ways to different people. As a kid, it seemed like it took FOREVER for Christmas to get here. I loved everything about Christmas–the decorations, the music, the special worship services, the family gatherings, but most of all, of course, the presents. But as I waited for Christmas to arrive, the weeks and days seemed to go by so slowly. As a kid, time just seemed to slow down before Christmas.
As an adult, I have a very different perspective on the passage of time, especially this time of the year. With of the special services to prepare, all of the events and activities on the calendar, not to mention making sure all of the gifts have been purchased, wrapped, and delivered, it seems to me that Christmas is coming WAY too fast. Time really seems to have sped up.
To God’s Old Testament believers, it must have seemed like it was taking forever for the birth of the Savior to come. After all, God had promised to send the Offspring of the woman who would crush the serpent’s head way back in Eden. But year after year, century after century, millennia after millennia went by, and the day still hadn’t come. Time must have seemed like it slowed way, way down for those who were longing for the Savior to come.
But God sees things differently. He sees things from the perspective of eternity. The apostle Peter wrote, “With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day” (2 Peter 3:8). God knew when the right time for the Savior to come would be. And so it was, at exactly the right time, God sent his Son. Notice, it was not on humanity’s time, but on His time.
There were so many things that made it the right time; things like the census decreed by Caesar Augustus that caused Mary and Joseph to journey to Bethlehem (just as Micah had prophesied centuries earlier), or the fact that the Romans employed crucifixion as their method of executing criminals (again, in fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy concerning the Savior’s death), or the Roman’s military strength, which resulted in peace and ensured safe travel, plus the Greek language being used nearly universally, thus enabling the good news of the Savior to be spread quickly and easily.
All these things and more made it the right time–God’s time–for the birth of Jesus. God’s time is always the right time, even when it doesn’t seem that way to us. When we pray for something, and we don’t receive the answer we desire immediately, we may think God’s time is wrong. But it’s not! When a loved one is called home to heaven at a young age, we may think that they were taken from us too soon. But God’s time is never the wrong time. We may not understand God’s timetable, at least not right away. But one day we will.
Whether it seems to us like Christmas is taking forever to get here, or it’s coming way too fast, let’s remember that God sent his Son at just the right time. And may the celebration of that coming remind us that God’s time is always the right time.
From your parsonage family, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Blessed New Year!