Sermon:
Infants, not yet born, seem to have a mind of their own. Infants, not yet born, pay very little attention to the doctorís predictions, the motherís preferences, or the fatherís fears. When they want to arrive, they arrive; and if they donít want to emerge into this cold, cruel world, they donít, not until they have to. Infants, not yet born, seem to have a mind of their own about when to come.

But the truth is that God has a time; God has a time for every purpose under heaven. The Bible says that there is a time to be born and a time to die, a time for every purpose. God has time; and God is on time.

Whenever any of you have shared with me the happy news that a little addition is on its way, I have invariably asked what the due date is. If you give me one, I jot it down on my calendar, so that I can watch, pray, and share the joy. A week or two before the zero hour, I am usually on the phone, asking how things are going. Typically the answer I get is that weíre still looking at that target date. We think we know when junior will stake out his claim to fame. I settle back and wait for a call.

A week later, I havenít heard anything, so I call you again. And you say, I donít know, but it better be soon. This is so uncomfortable. At that point I make comforting noises, but, being a mere male, I really donít know what Iím talking about. And I hang up and think that in a couple or three days Iíll be smiling down on you and your pride and joy in a hospital room.

What happens next? What is the usual scenario? Silence. Nothing. No phone call, no breathless father, no beaming grandparents. Nothing. So I call and I say what the pastor is supposed to say, that itís going to be fine, and I pray with you and then go out and make sure my car will start. Donít want to miss out!
Two days later; three; four; a week. And you are fuming with impatience, dad is wearing a path in the carpet, your mother is ready to go back home, and everything is in chaos. Why? Because infants, not yet born, seem to have a mind of their own. Infants, not yet born, pay very little attention to what anybody else wants. When they want to arrive, they arrive; and if they donít want to, they donít.

But God has a time; and God is on time. The Scripture tells us that when the days were accomplished that Mary should be delivered, she brought forth her first-born son and laid him in a manger. When the days were accomplished .. when it was the right time. God had a time. I call it ďthe nick of timeĒ. Just at the right moment -- at the countdown to the zero hour. At five minutes to midnight. At the intersection of never again and not yet. In the nick of time.
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Think with me about the world into which Jesus was born.
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It was a world of spiritual hungers, the like of which had never been seen before. All over the Mediterranean world, men and women were hungry for a new faith. The old religions of Greece and Rome were bankrupt. Few if any