The Miracle of Christmas
The Miracle of the Moment
Galatians 4:3-5 – In the same way we also, when we were children, were enslaved to the elementary principles of the world. But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons.
There is much to be said about time. Think about it for a moment. Think of everything that transpires in just a minute. (Allow 60 seconds to run off the clock without saying or doing anything). 1 minute seems like a long time when you are just sitting still. And yet at other times 1 minute seems to fly by.
Jesus came at the right moment. In the verse we read this morning, the Greek word for time is the word “Chronos” which denotes a specific period of time or a specific opportunity. In the time of this writing the Greeks believed that time was virtually a power which inescapably determined one’s life. In other words the use of time and what transpires in the moment of time forms and shapes who one is. The word “fullness” denotes completeness or the right time.
What is meant here, in this passage, is that when the time was right, that is in the right moment of time God sent His son into the world to be the Savior of the world. This plan had been formulated from the beginning of created time. Now God said its perfect time and He sent the Holy Spirit to impregnate Mary (Matthew 1:18) so that she would give birth to the Savior. This was all accomplished according to God’s time table which is always at the right moment in time.
Why was this the right time? Historians and theologians have given a number of reasons why this was the right time for Christ to come:
- The Roman Empire was united. Barriers that had existed before had now been destroyed. The world was now melded together as one community.
- The Romans had built roads that would link the known world of that time together. Rome had built these roads to carry Caesar’s armies but they were also to be used to carry the feet of those missionaries that would take the gospel to the world.
- The world was at peace under Roman rule. There were no wars being fought. Prior to this, Christ’s message would have been blocked by self-sufficient and antagonistic nations who did not like each other.
- There was a common language in the world. Latin and Greek were known throughout the world so communication was much easier.
But more than all of the things that are listed above There was a longing and a search for answers. While everything on the outside looked good there were problems and these problems made it the right time for Christ’s birth.
- Economically – Times were hard. In the midst of this grand empire was poverty and unrest. The aftermath of war, the extravagance of Herod the Great, the burden of taxation and the tremendous rise in population all negatively impacted the society. The world was filled with worry and concern.
- Religiously – Old philosophies were dying and were found to be powerless to change lives. Strange new mystery religions were invading the empire. Religious bankruptcy and spiritual hunger was everywhere. People were dissatisfied with their lives. They wanted something more and they were turning to all kinds of things to fill the void in their lives.
- Morally – The world of the day had sunk to moral hopelessness.
Our society today is a mirror image of the Roman Empire. Economically we are being challenged. All it would take is for one major country to fall into bankruptcy and totally collapse for there to be worldwide panic. Morally, we are at a low like we have never seen before. Just recently, I heard a story about a 4 year old that was beaten to death by the mom’s boyfriend because he was crying and the boyfriend could not hear his TV program.
But, it has been God’s plan throughout history to show up at the right moment. He knows when and how to show up at just the right moment and at just the right time. He is never late. He is always on time and it is always at just the right time.
Jesus provides all that we need at the right moment.
If we are not careful we will navigate through the Christmas season and never experience a moment that God shows up and does only what God can do. There are some in this season that need nothing short of a miracle. Perhaps there are issues that are impacting your life in negative ways. I know for some here at PCC they have needed God to show up as we have witnessed some of the PCC families being impacted by the issues of life. Dawn, Doug and Ashley have experienced the death of a loved one. Paul received word that his sister Helen has been diagnosed with cancer of the lymph nodes that has spread to her other organs. The Brooks had someone scam their checking account of several 1000 dollars. Nancy has been rushed to the hospital as a result if another bleed on her brain.
While these are difficult issues, it is a time for Christ to show up and show Himself strong and provide the right answer and provide at the right moment. So don’t be discouraged for when we are in need it is the right time for Christ to come. But no matter the need, God’s word promises us that He will show up at the right time. But we must always remember that it is His time table that he works from and not our own. Sometimes He strengthens us to endure through the problem and at other times He delivers us from the issue that brings us such pain and difficulty. Either way God is at work.
Psalm 145:14-15 –The LORD upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season.
Psalm 104:27-28 These all look to you, to give them their food in due season. When you give it to them, they gather it up; when you open your hand, they are filled with good things.
Deuteronomy 11:13-15 “And if you will indeed obey my commandments that I command you today, to love the LORD your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul, he will give the rain for your land in its season, the early rain and the later rain, that you may gather in your grain and your wine and your oil. And he will give grass in your fields for your livestock, and you shall eat and be full.
Please that food in these passages represents the provision God has for us. In that day the provision of food was one of the greatest needs they had.
In Romans 5:16 we are reminded that at the right time while we were weak and powerless and while we were in need Christ died for the ungodly. Romans 5:1-6 – Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God. More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
Jesus says that now is the right moment.
It seems that we are always looking for the right moment for God to do something. For some we are waiting for the right moment to commit our lives to Christ and the right moment for to begin to serve Him. But now is the time.
- Mark 1:15 – And saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
- 2 Corinthians 6:2 – For he says, “In a favorable time I listened to you, and in a day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation.
This repentance is more than just a repentance for salvation but repentance for failing to accomplish all that God has called us to. It is to repent of not seeing God show up when He has been all around us. The sad commentary of Christ’s birth is that He had come and no one knew it. They continued with their business as usual.
Has God shown up in your life this year? Has He shown up this week? What about today? Do not miss Him.