In The Fullness Of Time

November 30, 2015
by Lori Ciccanti

Galatians 4:4 – But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law. (ESV)

Luke 1:5,8,9 – In the time of Herod king of Judea there was a priest named Zechariah, who belonged to the priestly division of Abijah; his wife Elizabeth was also a descendant of Aaron. Once when Zechariah's division was on duty and he was serving as priest before God, he was chosen by lot, according to the custom of the priesthood, to go into the temple of the Lord and burn incense. (NIV)

Luke 1:26-27 – In the sixth month of Elizabeth's pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee, to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David. The virgin's name was Mary. (NIV 2011)

Last fall, my husband and I joined a Messianic fellowship at one of the members' homes to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, also known as Sukkoth. In their backyard, we sat in booths which were constructed according to God's Word. Then everyone took turns reading from the Old Testament. After the meal, we sang "Away in a manger" and other Christmas carols. Singing these songs in September was unusual, but it reminded me that Jesus was probably not born on the traditional date.

Many scholars speculate that our Lord was born on Sukkoth; remarkably, the word is also translated "stable", such as the humble estate where Christ may have been born. But is there any evidence to support this theory? Zechariah's priestly division of Abijah served in mid-June. If Elizabeth conceived shortly after Gabriel's announcement to Zechariah, her sixth month, when Gabriel appeared to Mary, would be in December. If this notion is correct, then it's reasonable to assume that Jesus was conceived during the festival of lights, or Hanukkah — around the time that we celebrate Christmas, and Jesus would have been born in September.

What amazing food for thought! These events illustrate the meticulous details that God had planned in the coming of His Son into the world. It also reminds us that His timing is always perfect. Therefore, it is comforting to know that in the fullness of time, God will intervene both in the world at large as well as in the challenges that we face in our personal lives. In the meantime, let us live each day to glorify Him.

Prayer: Sovereign Lord, we thank You that Your timing is always perfect. Open our eyes that we may contemplate wondrous things out of Your law. May we wait patiently upon You with hope and expectation for the future. In Jesus' precious name, we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Lori Ciccanti <dlalsina@mchsi.com>
Ocean View, Delaware, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Have a great Christmas Lori.


    Very well written. Thank you!


    Good history lesson today Lori. Well done.
    Blessings.


    Thank you for this! I am so tired of hearing prayers that beg God to be with us…when he already is!!


    Dearest Lori!
    Thank you for writing to us. I always appreciate your thoughtfulness!


    Dear Lori, It seems we go along and just read incidents in scripture without much thought. Thank you for encouraging us to “search the Scriptures”– John 5:39.


    Lori, It’s truly fascinating trying to decipher when our Lord was born. We do know where but not exactly when. There are many different theories concerning it. You’ve given us another perspective to ponder. God Bless.


    Ms CIccanti
    Many thanks for the insight in your Fullness of Time meditation.
    May I take the liberty of sharing your insight?


    Good morning!
    This meditation is rather interesting in terms of Jesus being the light of the world and being conceived at the Jewish festival of lights and born during a festival commemorating the closeness of God in the exile and the in-gathering of the harvest. Telling imagery.


    Thank you Lori for this thoughtful timeline. In Seminary I learned that the early church sages switched the celebration of the birth of our Lord to December 25th from an original date (now apparently lost in history) in order to combat the ongoing pagan mid-winter solstice celebrations. Also, the Orthodox church has always celebrated January 6th, Epiphany. These days, who knows? The important thing is to keep our focus on Christ Jesus. Blessings.


    Hello Lori.
    Bear with me. Was this a question on your part, or did I misunderstand?
    “stable”, such as the humble estate where Christ may have been born. But is there any evidence to support this theory?
    If you had the question, than Luke 2:6-12 will shed light on the place Jesus was born. A manger is a place for cattle feed, and a stable or barn, was where the Lamb of God was born.
    Keep Holding onto the Son of our God. Jesus. Trusting in His Word.
    Rejoicing, for the time of His returning is near.
    (USA)


    Amen.


    Lori,
    Nice to hear from you via your devotional. Wow you did a lot of research to write this piece and really gives more understanding of God’s perfect plan.
    We both wish you all the best during this advent season.


    Hi Lori. I don’t know your age or church affiliation. I only know you as a wise lady who often has, through the Presbyterian Devotional, taught me many truths. Wisdom isn’t always from years of teaching but definitely from God. Personally I am in my 70’s and I was a member of a Presbyterian (Canadian) church.
    We left a church where the pastor preached from a very Calvinistic perspective a judgemental doctrine which said over and over that we were sinner’s but never mentioned the Grace of God and that through Jesus we are set free from our sin and saved through the fact that Jesus bore our sin by being crucified. It was like he left out the rest of the story.


    Hi Lou,
    Wonderful food for thought indeed, I too am always amazed how things fit together.
    Blessings.

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