Sunday, September 3, 2017

Bad Timing


TO CHEW ON: "While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born." Luke 2:6

After the angel’s visit, Mary got pregnant. God, the Holy Spirit, was the baby’s father.

Joseph, the man she was planning to marry, thought she had cheated on him. He was all set to break their engagement. But an angel came to him in a dream. He told Joseph to take Mary as his wife and to be an earthly father to the baby she would have.

Now it was months later. The baby was due to be born any day. That's when Caesar Augustus passed a law about registering for a census. So Joseph and Mary had to take the long trip from Nazareth to Bethlehem where Joseph needed to register. Talk about bad timing!

"The Journey to Bethlehem" by Unknown Artist"The Journey to Bethlehem" by Unknown Artist

They didn’t have planes, cars or buses for the trip. Instead they had to walk the 46 to 50 kilometers (or 28 to 31 miles) from Nazareth to Bethlehem. Maybe Mary rode on a donkey. Not only was the trip uncomfortable, but when they got to Bethlehem, the inns were full!

"The Arrival at Bethlehem" by Luc-Olivier Merson - 1897"The Arrival at Bethlehem" by Luc-Olivier Merson - 1897

But all this was no surprise to God. In fact, it was important that Jesus be born in Bethlehem. Do you know why?* And God had picked out just the right spot for that.

Unknown Illustrator of Hartwell James's The Boys of the Bible 1905 & 1916Unknown Illustrator of Hartwell James's The Boys of the Bible 1905 & 1916

That night, Jesus, the Son of God, was born in a stable. Something that seemed all wrong turned out just right.

PRAYER: Dear God, help me to trust You when things seem to be happening at the wrong time. Amen.

SUPERSIZE IT: The Wrong Time
Has something like this ever happened to you?
- you sprain your ankle the day before the big game.
- a few days before the play, where you have the main part, you get a cold and lose your voice.
- your family plans a trip, and then your dad’s boss asks him to work

Make a list of things that have happened to you at the “wrong time.” How did each turn out?

*Jesus’ birth was the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies. He was the Savior or Messiah that God had promised to send. Micah the prophet predicted that this “ruler over Israel” would come out of Bethlehem.

Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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