It's been a time of much celebration once again. I've often thought it was very good of Jesus to be born the week before New Year so we can have an extra bit of holiday and more parties!
Oh, alright. I know. He probably wasn't born on December 25th. Lots of stuff can be read about why we celebrate the birth of Jesus at this time of year, and many have looked into when it was he was most likely born. There are wide ranging different dates. But we've settled for December 25th and the retailers will keep it like that, I'm sure. Unless you live in a country with an Orthodox Church as you'll have to wait until January 7th or there about. Confused?
Getting the right date for the birth of a child is hard enough at the best of times. A report last year (2015!) stated that a woman only has a 4% chance of having her baby born on the 'due date' that has been worked out. All our knowledge, science and wisdom seems to make little change. The common sense attitude that the baby will come when it's ready still seems to be the best way.
Luke's Gospel announces the birth of Jesus in a simple way. Joseph and Mary arrived in Bethlehem and "While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born." Luke 2:6.
I wonder if he came on his 'due date'? It seems a bit twee to suggest that he must have, as he was the perfect Son of God. Yet the answer has to be the same as for all babies. He came when he was ready. We use a saying 'God's perfect timing' to explain things we can't understand, and in this case it has to be used. We have to realise that God is in charge. Usually we try and work out a date for when a baby is born, and we statistically fail! The same happens when we try and work out what God will do, or even tell God what to do. The truth is that God does things when he is ready.
We often pray for God to do this or that, plead with him, make bargains with him. Yet Jesus taught us to pray 'Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth', because that's the way it happens in heaven and that's the way we want it to be on earth.
So as we pause and reflect on the year past, and the year to come, let's not forget that Jesus came when he was ready. Only then can we start to realise that his desires and purposes for our lives will happen when we are faithful to him, and he decides that we are ready to receive all that he wants to give to us. It's not about me and what I want, and when I want it.