From the monthly archives:

December 2011

Waiting for Messiah

December 24, 2011

“The fullness of time” is never a mystery to the God who loves and cares for my soul.


The days were completed… She gave birth to her firstborn son.  Luke 2

It has always been a mystery why Joseph took off on a donkey only days before she was due. To be honest, no one knows how long Mary was pregnant.  Is it possible that she was only 7 or 8 months pregnant and the baby came early and unannounced?  That would mean that Jesus would have been premature in the calendar of man.

What we have based the completion of a full pregnancy on is the previous statement, “when the days were completed.”  Our limited view of time dictates the meaning to be our days, our schedules, our timelines, yet that is not the same as God’s.  He had planned the coming of Messiah from the day of the Fall.  He had marked off on His eternal calendar the millenniums, centuries, years and hours until the final click of the second hand struck and a new dawn chimed.  The lonely night of mankind’s soul was broken by the dawn of redemption and nothing could have prepared the weary and terrified couple for what their simple obedience would bring. God came, a tiny Innocent in the hands of fumbling humanity laid in the midst of the squaller of sin.

There are three common circumstances that surround lives at Christmas.

  • There are those who will be encompassed with all the gladness and joy for which the season is intended.  Families will meet under beautiful trees stuffed with presents under their boughs.  They will eat and laugh, watch kids reacquaint with cousins and grandparents, laugh at old movies and timeless music and get “just what I wanted” over and over again.  This is what we all hope for and what I wish for everyone I know.
  • There are those who will wish for more.  More people, or just one special someone, to celebrate the season with.  More of the tidings of joy or the realization of peace on earth and especially in the home.  There are those who will yearn for the past years and look forward to the next year when Christmas cheer will be more than a phone call or a Skype’d “I miss you” from far away.
  • There are those who are truly alone.  Though family might be in the same room, there is little joy and the kind of tension that can only be created when the brokenness of life invades like a marauding hoard.  Or those who suffer the consequences of choices that were made and cannot be changed.  Or those who the good life seems to have passed by, the gripping loneliness never as acute as at Christmas when people are supposed to be with people.

I write this within our own peculiar circumstances.  We are, once again, in a hospital room unplanned and unwanted but none the less necessary.  Setbacks and sickness have combined to interrupt plans and schedules.  And I find myself with the same choice as many who read these few words I write.

And there is a choice.  Do I pine away with regrets for what could have been or rejoice that this Season is to celebrate the Savior who came to be with us and never leave us?  “Diverse temptations,” Paul said, “trials of many kinds,”  all of which are intended to supplant our self-sufficiency with the sufficiency of the Christ Child, the Hope of Glory.

Old Zechariah said it best when his tongue was finally released at the birth of his son, John the Baptist.  He said that the Messiah was coming, “To grant that we might serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all of our days.”  It was the original Christmas present from Heaven to you and me… serving Him without fear.  Knowing holiness and righteousness all of our days no matter what strange difficulties or crushing loneliness we might walk in.  Knowing that no matter what the circumstances, “the fullness of time” is never a mystery to the God who loves and cares for my soul.  Though my calendar dictates that it is time for different circumstances Jesus enters my world and declares the message of hope and the promise of the New Covenant in the diverseness of this life.

So I say to you, Merry Christmas, friend.  The Savior was born so that these days of trial as well as these days of joy might be spent with Him and without fear.  May you experience His favor and mercy throughout this season and new year.

“Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy
for there is born to you this day a Savior, who is Christ the Lord!”
Luke 2:10-11