December 15, 2010

The Perfect Time

It seems like 2010 would have been a good time for the birth of Jesus.

It would have been much more comfortable.
Mary could have ridden to Bethlehem in the family minivan rather than on the back of a donkey. Having been nine months pregnant myself, I'd much rather go by car.

But then, if it were 2010, Mary and Joseph wouldn't even have had to go to Bethlehem for the census. A form would have arrived in the mail or via a friendly government worker at the door and their taxes would have been paid by automatic withdrawal.

Instead of having Jesus on scratchy hay in a barn surrounded by filthy animals, she could opt for a home birth overseen by a midwife.

It would be heralded around the world instantly.
From the time Mary and Joseph told the neighbors about the identity of their coming bundle of joy, someone would sell the story to the tabloids for loads of money. The paparazzi would descend, taking photographs of Mary's "baby bump" and offering big bucks for the rights to the first pictures of baby Jesus.

Mary and Joseph would post pictures of their new baby for their Facebook friends and the shepherds Twitter updates would immediately start trending. The lucky person who caught the angels' announcement on their smart phone would post it online and another clever person would immediately set the angels' song to a dance beat and put it up on YouTube.

The news channels' "breaking news" running at the bottom of TV screens would announce every detail.

As He grew, the world would follow Him with interest. He would have a rapt audience for His message.

So why 2000 years ago?
Why before television, newspapers, internet, and books?

Why in a stable in a small town in the middle of nowhere?

Why in a time where only a few people would know of His arrival?

Why did He come as a pauper and not a prince?

Why did He grow up almost completely unknown?

Why did He only spend three years speaking and teaching and then only to small crowds?

Why did He leave the gospel and His ministry in the hands of a ragtag bunch of people?

It doesn't make much sense to me. But it makes complete sense to the Father. He has impeccable timing.

But when the fullness of time had come (the perfect time), God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those that were under the law, so that we might receive the adoption as sons. Galatians 4:4-5

In reflecting on God's perfect timing, it brings me comfort on a personal level. The precision, patience, and restraint He showed in the timing of Jesus' birth is the same He shows me.

His birth is a gift of grace toward you and I this Christmas and a great reason to celebrate!