Greg Spires,Teaching Pastor
Into The Mess
Commentators in the travel and hospitality industry have noted that bookings for trips in 2021 and 2022 are picking up pace. It appears that with the prospect of restrictions related to Covid-19 being lifted, people are anxious to travel. One observer noted that there is likely significant pent-up demand for travel given travel restrictions over the last year.
When planning a trip, it is important to think about when to travel. Weather is one consideration. It is no fun to arrive at a destination and realize the weather is unbearable. Another consideration is what will be open. It would be frustrating to travel to a destination only to learn that the activities desired aren’t available or are out of season.
One final consideration is cost. Most destinations have seasons when the prices are higher because demand is higher. With good planning, travelers can find ways to save money by traveling at strategic times.
Of course, the more a traveler is willing to spend, the more selective they can be on where they go and when.
One of the reasons the birth of Jesus is so amazing is because He chose to enter into humanity when He did. As the creator of the universe, Jesus could come to us any time He wanted. And when we look at the circumstances of the world when He was born, we may wonder why He decided to arrive when He did.
The reason is simple: Jesus came to us for our benefit, not His. Notice how the Bible describes His mindset in Philippians 2:5-7, “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.”
God didn’t merely plan ahead for Jesus to come a year or two in advance. No, God had been planning this moment for all of eternity, and the timing was perfect. The Bible says in Galatians 4:4-5, “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.” Jesus came when He planned to. It was the perfect time to come to give us redemption. It was the time to come when He would experience the most significant humiliation.
Maybe this year's Christmas seems a little off. The circumstances of the world seem to have messed up a lot of plans and hopes. We can look at the celebrations and traditions of Christmas and feel like things aren’t the way they are supposed to be. Well, perhaps that can remind as afresh that is the way things were on that first Christmas. The world's circumstances left a lot of people without hope, and things were really messed up.
It was then that the timing was perfect for Jesus to take His trip to enter into humanity as a man.
We have hope because Jesus entered into the mess that is our world and our lives. He was willing to do whatever it took to bring restoration, forgiveness, and hope for those who would trust Him. If He only came when things were good, it would tell us He is only a savior for good people. However, since He came when things were broken, we learn that He came for people who are broken.
We can thank the Lord that He was willing to humbly serve us with His life, death, and resurrection. It is in Him that we have hope of one day joining Him in the glory of His kingdom.
I look forward to being with you this Sunday as we celebrate the work of God in Jesus Christ together! This Sunday, the fourth week of Advent, we will reflect on Jesus – our Savior!