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Christmas at “Just the Right Time”

“But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under law, to redeem those under law, that we might receive the full rights of sons”
(Galatians 4:4-5, NIV).

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.” So wrote Solomon in Ecclesiastes (3:1). Have you ever wondered why God picked the time that He did for sending His Son into our world?

Why didn’t He make Christmas happen sooner? (No doubt many Old Testament believers prayed for this.) Or why didn’t He cause His Son to be born at a later point along the timeline of history?

We can’t look into God’s mind and state with certainty why He chooses the times that He does for fulfilling His promises. However, we can point to a number of factors which show—at least from a human perspective—that the date God selected for fulfilling His promise of a Savior was “just right.” Under His guiding hand, a single language (Greek) was being used by a large segment of the world’s population. In the years leading up to Christ’s birth there were no wars going on in the Mediterranean world. The Romans had also built an elaborate system of highways which provided efficient travel from one country to another.

Such factors made it a good time for God’s Son to make His appearance. It made it possible for the disciples to carry the gospel from the city of Jerusalem and to spread it quickly to the ends of the Earth.

Whatever the reason(s) God had for choosing that specific time for sending the Christchild into the world, we are just glad that He did! And since each messianic prophecy of the Savior has met its fulfillment only in Jesus–to name a few, His birth of a virgin (Isaiah 7:14), in the city of Bethlehem (Micah 5:2), of the family tree of Jesse (Isaiah 11:1)–we know beyond a doubt that His work of reconciling the world to Himself has been completed. The broken relationship that existed between sinners and the holy God has been mended.

Jacob’s Star in all its splendor
Beams with comfort sweet and tender,
Forcing Satan to surrender,
Breaking all the powers of hell.

From the bondage that oppressed us,
From sin’s fetters that possessed us,
From the grief that sore distressed us,
We, the captives, now are free.

(TLH #90:5-6)

We also have reason to rejoice that the Lord continues to make Christmas happen at just the right time” for each of us personally.

Did He not use the message of the gospel to bring you to faith, to comfort you with the glad tidings of great joy the angels sang about to the shepherds, of forgiveness for your sins, of Christ’s victory over death for you, of His crushing Satan’s power for your benefit, of your eventual participation in the eternal Christmas celebration above—the grandest and most festive party that will ever be held, where “there will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away” (Revelation 21:4, NIV), with Jesus as your beloved Host?!

Oh, may we keep and ponder in our mind
God’s wondrous love in saving lost mankind!
Trace we the Babe, who hath retrieved our loss,
From His poor manger to His bitter cross,
Tread in His steps, assisted by His grace,
Till man’s first heavenly state again takes place.


Then may we hope, th’ angelic hosts among,
To sing, redeemed, a glad triumphal song.
He that was born upon this joyful day
Around us all His glory shall display.
Saved by His love, incessant we shall sing
Eternal praise to heaven’s almighty King.

(TLH #84:5-6)

Heavenly Father, we thank You for sending Your Son into our world at just the right time for the redemption of our sinful world. We thank You for sending Him into our hearts through Your Word at just the right time, leading us to anchor our hope for forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation solely in Him. Amen!