December 26, 2007
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
Ethel Martin of Oberlin, Kansas, isn’t going to read the Christmas postcard her cousins have sent to her.
There’s a reason Ethel isn’t going to read her cousin’s card. It’s a good reason. Ethel isn’t reading the card because Ethel is dead.
She died some time ago, as a matter of fact.
Now you might think Ethel’s cousins in Alma, Nebraska, might know about something as important as the death of their cousin, and you might also think it would have been more appropriate, and in better taste, if they had sent a card of condolence rather than a postcard depicting Santa Claus and a young girl.
Finally, you might think there simply has to be a rest of the story here. If you thought that last bit, you would be right. The rest of the story is this: Ethel’s Christmas card carries the date, December 23, 1914. That card was mailed more than 90 years ago. It was mailed, and then it disappeared.
The card disappeared for 93 years.
Only now has it been delivered to Ethel’s sister-in-law, Bernice Martin. The kind people from Illinois who forwarded the near century old card put it into an envelope and added some extra postage. Quite wisely they figured out the one-cent stamp on the original card probably wasn’t going to get it to its final destination, and they didn’t want that card to end up in the dead-letter office.
Ninety-three years. Ninety-three years is a long time to wait. Of course, 93 years is nothing compared to how long the world waited for the promised Savior. Generation after generation, babies were born, grew to adulthood, raised their own families, and died.
Finally, in God’s time, in the fullness of time, God honored the promise He had made to sinful Adam and Eve. In God’s time, when all was right, the Lord sent His Son to be born as one of us so Jesus might give His life to rescue and redeem the entire damned and doomed human race.
Jesus, as the angels have told us, is “good news of great joy.” Now, in the fullness of time, that message has been preached to us. May we, by the Holy Spirit’s power, welcome Him more warmly than did the people of Bethlehem or Herod the King. May we rejoice that, in the fullness of time, we have been given the Babe of Bethlehem, the Christ of the Cross, the Savior of the empty tomb.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, I give thanks You have, according to the Father’s promise, come to save me. May I wisely use the time I am given to share the wonders of Your love. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries