“The time came for her to give birth.”
As we once again are on the Eve of Christmas, let’s ponder the verse above. “The time came…” It’s often caricaturized that when an expectant mother goes into labor, she either calmly or excitedly exclaims, “It’s time!” And the expecting father frantically tries to remember everything he’s supposed to put into the car before heading to the hospital.
Consider the development of a baby. At one time, the baby is the size of a blueberry, then the size of a cumquat, then the size of a squash. And then the time comes for the baby to be born. Certainly, this growth is the natural progress of any pregnancy. It’s by God’s design. Nine months, and it’s time for the baby to be born.
It’s all “by God’s design.” Just as God created the process for a baby to be born, even down to the exact moment of delivery, in the same way, God created the process for our salvation, culminating in the birth of Jesus.
Long ago, God promised Adam and Eve the coming of a savior, the Seed of the Woman, who would rescue us all. He would crush the serpent’s head. The same promise was repeated to Noah, Abraham, David, the Israelites, and you and me. And God fulfilled his promise at just the right time, and according to his design. Paul wrote, “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” (Galatians 4:4-5a, ESV).
The whole Christmas narrative rests on this one line, “The time came for her to give birth.” And now we gather with family to reflect on God’s love for us. It is our time to give thanks to Him who has saved us with this baby wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
Father, Thank you for timing everything so perfectly, from creation to the moment of Jesus’ birth. All of this has been done according to your plan!
Contributed by Rev. Andrew Bartholomew