My talented other half was asked to speak at the Community Christmas Lunch yesterday and I really loved his message (biased, I know!). He talked about the following text…
But when the right moment came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own sons.
Matt spoke about a God who cares so much that he works hard behind the scenes to orchestrate moments. This is no more clearly seen than in the 400 years of silence between the Old and New Testaments in the Bible. For hundreds of years, there had been a keen anticipation of a coming Messiah, a Saviour who would come to make a way for all to gain freedom. Prophets spent countless hours retelling the bible prophecies and reminding the people that He was coming. People had been watching and waiting, yearning and praying for the appointed King of Peace.
And then, there was silence.
For 400 years.
Were people still anticipating this moment? It’s obvious that some were, by the fact that the Shepherds found baby Jesus so soon after his birth, and the wise men. I’m sure many were tired of the waiting. Sick of wondering. Exhausted of trusting in the promise. Making their way through life thinking that it was easier to live life of their own accord rather than in jubilant, fearless faith.
Sound familiar? Don’t we do that now?
Maybe your faith has been rocked or shipwrecked on an island of pain and brokenness. Maybe you are just tired of setting your eyes on the King’s return when it is so much more appealing to live a life of keeping up with the Joneses and following the bright lights. Maybe you are simply wondering when he will come, and if the waiting will ever end.
This morning, I was reminded that even during Silent Nights, God is busy. I may not hear Him. I may not see Him. Sometimes, he is busily setting up a moment. A moment in your life…perhaps He is setting up a moment for you to really hear Him because His efforts have so far been in vain.
When I think back to the moment God orchestrated for Jesus birth, I am in awe. A moment where there was a common language. A moment when many people were in one place. Jesus only lived in a limited geographical location- he wasn’t a world-wide YouTube sensation, yet his audience is still captivated today, 2000 years later!
Christmas 2016 has come and gone. May we all recognise, as we reflect on the Gift that truly is the Reason for the Season, that even in Silent Nights, God has a purpose and is busy in our lives and in the lives of others. May the Gift of adoption be real to you this day and every day. Adoption as sons- heirs to the inheritance only Jesus can offer us. And most of all, when we feel he is silent, may we recognise that he is most certainly working behind the scenes to orchestrate not only a moment in our lives individually, but a moment for the soon return of his son Jesus, the King who grants us eternal life.