“When the time had fully come God sent his Son”
I am writing this on the day before our long-awaited General Election, so by the time you read this we shall know who is in Government. It will still be early days, though, to know what is going to happen about Brexit, the NHS, the housing shortage, and all the other matters that seem to have been held up in the pipe-line. We have got rather used to dead-lines being postponed, but as we celebrate the birth of Jesus we are reminded that God never postpones or misses his deadlines! “When the time had fully come God sent his Son” we read in Galatians.
Even though Jesus’ ministry began in a somewhat remote part of the Roman Empire the good news of salvation that he proclaimed soon spread far and wide. Despite the harshness of the Roman regime they had established the Pax Romana (the Roman Peace) which, to a very large extent, made travel comparatively safe. Their excellent road system added ease of travel to safety. Also, at that time, Greek had become the lingua franca, or widely spoken and understood language across the nations. Now, add to all that the fact that many people were becoming dissatisfied with their pagan religions and deities, and you have just the right setting, from a merely human viewpoint, for the emergence and the spread and the growth of the gospel. Furthermore, add to that the absolute sovereignty of our perfect, holy God and we need not be surprised that the coming of Jesus was in the fullness of time.
Are we not, perhaps, in a similar situation today? We have many means of largely affordable, safe travel; we have an unprecedented variety of means of communicating information; there is also, to some extent, a dissatisfaction with some of the ideologies and institutions that hitherto served as forms of ‘religion’. But time may be running out; restrictions on our freedoms may soon appear; we need to seize the opportunities we have to share the Word of God with a needy, hungry, disillusioned people. Our society may be more ready and waiting to hear the gospel than we think but too often gospel is hidden within church buildings and programmes, or activities that attract attendance but fail to present the gospel clearly, or is diluted to tastelessness by liberal theology.
Has not the time come, then, for God’s people to pray for a fresh outpouring of his Spirit to enable a sending forth of the gospel in saving power to ready and waiting hearts and lives?
“Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling! “ (Psalm 43:3)
May you have a blessed Christmas season and know God’s abundant blessing throughout the coming year.