Introduction to Christmas Threads

Christmas Threads Meditations: Introduction to Christmas Threads

Gal 4:4  when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman

Something More? Christmas approaches – again! I must confess that I have a ‘thing’ about Christmas and for that reason, (apart from trying to fight back the glitz and let the real light shine through) I pause at this time of year and pray, “Lord, please allow me to see afresh the wonder of what you have done.”  As I have been praying I have had a sense of something different. The idea of threads that make up a tapestry came to mind. Can we together push back the glitz and see afresh the wonder of the thing Matthew and Luke bring to us in their early chapters?

About Time: So by way of introduction, for meditation purposes, may I snatch out of context the apostle Paul’s words in Galatians, “when the set time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman,” because they seem to summarize or encapsulate just what this is all about. The Message version starts it, “when the time arrived that was set by God the Father.” Jesus came at a time that was set by God, i.e.  God had an agenda and so Jesus’ coming was not some random, haphazard event that just happened to pop up in history two thousand years ago but was a preplanned mega-event on the divine calendar.

The NIV’s, “when the set time had fully come,” has three interesting words. First note, the ‘set time’, suggesting the established or exact or precise time, a fully considered or worked out time. Again, taking my comment above about God’s ‘agenda’, I believe there is a real sense in the Old Testament (and New) that God had specific things He wanted to happen before He ‘sent’ His Son. The other word, ‘fully’, suggests completion or worked through to a designed end. Everything about this screams of careful planning on God’s part.

In the latter half of that verse note three words: “God sent his Son, born of a woman.”  The thee key and arguably most significant players in the Nativity story are God, His Son, and the young woman Mary. How we take some of these things for granted! The truth is that a figure from elsewhere could just be dropped into the present. He needn’t have gone through the trauma of baby and childhood and the accompanying threats.  Yet that is how God chose to enter the world we know, and we’ll return to this later because, again, I think there are things here we take for granted.

I referred earlier to the Nativity as ‘a preplanned mega-event on the divine calendar’ so as we run up to this ‘mega-event’ this year, would you like to embark on a journey with me, a journey made up of a number of threads that go to make an incredible tapestry, hopefully to the glory of God.

Prayer Time – Thanking: Our starting point in prayer must be thanks: “Lord Jesus thank you that you came to this earth in human form. Father, thank you that you sent Jesus at a very precise time to reveal you to us and to die for us. Thank you that you chose to achieve this using a human body, ‘born of a woman’; you drew that close to our human experience in your desire to win our hearts. Thank you so much. Amen.”

Prayer Time – Asking: But there always need to be requests, for the wise realize they always need God’s help, so can we pray together, “Lord as we come to your word to reflect again on the wonder of this time that we call Christmas,  may we snatch some words from the psalmist and ask of you, ‘Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things’, (Psa 119:19) not so much from your law as from the testimony of your word. Deliver us from the familiarity with this story and enable us to catch again the wonder of it, that our hearts may truly be moved to worship. Amen!”

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