Pastor John Writes:
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3 is a passage people often read at the transition from one year to the next, in part because every year, whether we like it or not, brings the things listed in Ecclesiastes: birth and death, killing and healing, mourning and dancing, love and hate, war and peace, even though peace seems hard to find. It’s all part of life, part of the wondrous and terrifying world God has created.
Everything, when you think about it, is a matter of proper timing. A doctor once said that timing is everything in diagnosis. If the patient comes too early to the physician, a problem can be difficult to pinpoint, and vague. But if the patient waits too long, then illness might have progressed too far, and it is too late for treatment.
The New Testament writers often speak of Jesus as God’s gift to us at the right time: Romans 5 tells us, “For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.” Paul speaks of the “fullness of time” in Galatians 4: “When the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son … that we might receive adoption as children.”
Christmas is such a time, the right time. They didn’t know it at first, Mary and Joseph, as they went about paying taxes, seeing family, getting engaged, having a baby, that it was the right time. But God knew.
Remember, “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” It can be a challenge to grab a hold of the time we have, and take hold of the gifts that God freely offers each of us in this life. And the new year comes to us, ready or not, bringing new challenges, and new hopes, the fullness of which we can only imagine. This world is full of possibilities, as is the new year. May God help us to make the most of our time, and the most of the year that lies ahead of us. Above all, may God be with us throughout the new year, and always. Amen.