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So I step up on the platform and get behind the pulpit and look at my watch and the people in the congregation for a full minute. I simply smile and look around. The people are nervously looking around at one another wondering what the heck. One minute has passed. (I admit it, I’m not ashamed. Every Christmas, Lifeway offers a special sermon series for pastors to use. I typically use them, but modify them for our congregation.) So a minute has passed. My watch tracks time. It has a second hand which moves every second. 60 seconds moves the big hand one step forward to mark the passing of a minute. It’s amazing how long one minute of silence seems and how short one minute is when you’re doing something you like.
There are 20 days until Christmas. That means there’s about 480 hours until we celebrate the birth of Christ. That’s 28,800 minutes to do all that needs to be done before Christmas arrives. There are presents to buy and wrap; parties to go to, people to visit and we only have 28,800 minutes left to get it done. Since there are only 28,800 minutes left, why did we just waste one precious minute sitting here doing nothing?
Gal. 4:4 says, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.
I want us to recognize not only the significance of one moment in time but also of the strategic nature of those moments. We would refer to this strategic nature of time as timing. Have you ever stopped to consider how important timing is to everything that exists? Timing is everything. The best time to start a diet is not around Thanksgiving. If a quarterback is off in his timing for just a split second, he could miss his receiver. Being delayed just a minute could result in missing your flight, or missing a major car accident. If your timing isn’t right, you could be stuck in interstate traffic on I-95. Parents can turn away for one minute and their child is nowhere to be found. C4 sent a team to Romania over Thanksgiving because the timing was right. One minute make a difference. One moment, one sixty-second interval of time, placed in just the right location can make all the difference in the world. It is very easy to get wrapped up in the busyness of the season and miss the miracle of Christmas. This month, I want to spend some time reflecting upon the significance of Christ’s birth.
Gal. 4:4 says, “But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law.” Fullness means the appointed time. At just the right time God sent His Son. The reality of that moment in time is that most people missed the miracle of the moment. Most people did not recognize the significance of Jesus Christ. There was too much activity in Bethlehem. Few people knew there was a young girl out in a stable giving birth to the Messiah. They missed the moment and it’s still true for today
That moment was no coincidence. At just the right time in history Jesus was born. This was God’s plan, established from before the foundations of the world. This was the perfect time. There was relative peace and stability in the region. There was a common language in the area. There was a network of roads that connected city with city and all roads led to Rome. The O.T. prophecies concerning the coming of the Messiah were completed. It was the right time and God sent His Son. The miracle of Christmas is not limited to the fact that God came at just the right time, but that He still comes today. God comes to us with what we need at just the right moment. Many people will go through the motions this season. They’ll endure the decorations, the parties, the busyness, but won’t experience the miracle of the moment. But some will get it; they’ll see the miracle and it will change them. God comes to us at just the right time. He’s there when you need Him. He knows what you’re going through. He knows what you need. His timing is perfect. When we are completely helpless, Christ still comes to us today.
It seems as if we are always waiting for just the right time to do something. To get married. Change jobs. Buy a house, have children. For just the right time to commit our lives to Christ. For just the right time to serve God. Titus 2:11-14 tells us, “For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Christ Jesus, who gave Himself for us to redeem us from every lawless deed, and to purify for Himself a people for His own possession, zealous for good deeds.” Jesus came at just the right time . . . not early . . . not late. Mark 1:15 says, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”
Today is the day. There is no time like the present. Now is the time to let God transform your life. Now is the time to live for Christ. Now is the time to serve God. One moment, one minute can change eternity. Right now is the moment. Right now the timing is perfect for you to live the life God wants you to live. You don’t need to wait any longer. You don’t have to get to a place where you think you’re good enough to serve Him. Choose to live for Him and serve Him now.
In the movie Jingle All the Way, Arnold Swartzeneggar plays Howard Langston, a workaholic mattress salesman that has little time for his wife and son. He forgets to purchase the hottest toy of the season for his son; Turbo-Man. Throughout the movie, he continues to miss opportunity after opportunity to purchase the action figure. His timing is off. Until that one moment; he is in the right time at the right place. He’s mistaken for the stuntman that was to play Turbo-Man in the Christmas parade. Langston goes on to save his son from the Turbo-Man’s nemesis: Demento. Timing is everything and God shows up jus when we need Him. This Christmas, don’t miss the miracle of the moment.