Devotion for Dec 12-14, 2017

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.  –Galatians 4:4-5

Our Lord God is above all and he makes decisions that are pleasing to him.

Jesus was pleased to enter Jerusalem in humility on a donkey while people shouted “Hosannah!” and waved palm branches. Jesus was pleased to enter into our world in humility, born of a virgin in a stable and laid in a manger. Jesus is pleased to come to us in Word and Sacrament. Jesus is pleased to return in awesome glory.

Our Lord not only chooses the method of his arrival, but even the time of his arrival. And while God still chooses those things that are pleasing to him, we rejoice because it pleases our Lord to grant you forgiveness and salvation.

When the time was right, when the perfect moment had arrived, when all things were properly in order, Jesus was born into this world…born of a woman…born under the law…so that you (who are under the law) might be redeemed and adopted.

Jesus (who is wiser than us all) doesn’t work on our timing, although we would often like it to be different.

I have often prayed and asked God for certain things with an expectation of when God should grant my prayer. I have been frustrated because things are slower and more difficult than I think they should be. I get upset because good things are over far too soon, before I got a chance to fully appreciate them. I would do well to leave the timing up to God and not begrudge the fact that he remains in control of all things.

God promised salvation through a Son to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, shortly after they fell into sin. The promise was renewed and repeated by God continually and the world waited for thousands of years for Jesus to be born and fulfill these promises. Jesus promised to return and the Church has been waiting nearly two thousand years. Yet God’s promises will be fulfilled when God chooses.

God’s timing rarely makes sense to our human minds. Why do some come to faith in Jesus on their deathbeds while others can’t remember a time when they didn’t believe in Jesus? Why do some seemingly struggle with faith and doubt while others appear to have unshakable faith? Why do some find difficulty around every bend while others seem to have much easier lives?

We cannot know the answer to these questions, but we trust in a God who loves us and always works for our Good.

Prayer: O God, our Maker and Redeemer, Yu wonderfully created us and in the incarnation of Your Son yet more wondrously restored our human nature. Grant that we may ever be alive in Him who made Himself to be like us; through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen.