Sunday, December 11, 2011

Today's Advent Passage: 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.(Galatians 4:4-5 ESV)

Any expectant mother cannot wait for those last few weeks of pregnancy to be over and the baby to finally arrive. I'm sure that Mary, "great with child" as Luke 2 tells us, was no different.

The birth of Jesus didn't just fulfill Mary's natural yearnings for the baby to be born, however. Paul tells us in this passage that Jesus' birth marked a significant point on the kingdom calendar; it signified that the "fullness of time" had come. The time for prophecies about the Messiah, the season of anticipatory waiting, the preparation phase - these were essential, but not ultimate. Finally, one day God saw that it was time. The fullness of time - the completion of an earlier period or season of time - had finally arived.

And so, Jesus was born. Born to redeem - the crucial and essential element of our faith. If that was all, it would be enough. Yet Paul tells us there was more. Redemption wasn't the ultimate purpose - relationship was. God sent Jesus to redeem us so we could be adopted as sons. Adopted by Him. Restored to the relationship which He intended at creation - and even more, because instead of just being with us as He was with Adam, He is now in us through the indwelling Holy Spirit.

As we celebrate the fullness of time that spoke the word and sent forth Jesus into the world, let us also celebrate the relationship He gives us with the Father.

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