When was Jesus Really Born?

A friend recently asked me about the validity of celebrating Jesus’ birth on December 25th.  The Bible doesn’t put a date on a calendar, and while we can get a good idea from tracing the astronomical records of a unique star, no one wrote the exact date into the annuals of human history.  Many people have commented that shepherds would never have their flocks out in a field or on a hillside where they would be exposed to frigid temperatures.  But several scholars have noted that generally, the temperature does not drop to those levels until after our traditional Christmas season, so there is reason to assume we’re pretty close.

I did say that the Bible doesn’t give us a precise date, but it does actually tell us when Jesus was born.  Galatians 4:4 says, “When the time had fully came, God sent His Son, born of a woman.”  I find so much comfort in that.    The Bible is chock-full of references to time, from the record of Creation to “the day [when] His feet will stand on the Mount of Olives.”   God actually does have a calendar of sorts – a divine calendar – and all of human history flows according to the plans He made before the creation of the world.  Everything will happen “when the time has fully come.” 

I hope you take that personally.  Because the same God who established the universe’s timeline has your name on His calendar too.  He is moving in your life according to His purpose and design.  He is making things and people and events come together just as He planned.  Beloved, your life is not some crazy quilt with pieces of all shapes, sizes and colors haphazardly sewn together.  It is a work of beauty, precision and exactness, stitched firmly together with blood-red cords.  Every moment of your life has been leading up to the magnificent finished project that will be revealed “when the time has fully come.”

So feel free to celebrate the birth of Christ on December 25th with joy and thanksgiving for God’s perfect, divine plan.  And remember that He’s an “on-time” God.  It won’t be a second late.  Nor will it be a second early.  It will be “when the time has fully come.” 


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