God’s Perfect Timing

Each year on the Sunday before Christmas, the Church invites us to recall a long list of names which represents the human ancestry of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. This is much more than just a list of names, as the names call our mind to a long history of God’s prefect timing to rescue his people. Whether it be Adam in the Garden or Noah and the flood, God has never abandoned His people. Always at just the perfecting timing, He comes, and He will come again, to save us. (see complete transcript below)


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(singing)

Thank you for tuning in to another episode of Be Transfigured, where we invite you to live a new life in Christ. We pray that this episode is a blessing to you, and will inspire you to rededicate your life to Jesus Christ. We invite you to join us for worship or study at the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Tarpon Springs, Florida, where visitors are always welcome. We'll be back in a few moments to share some more information about our ministry.

My brothers and sisters, this morning's gospel is my favorite to listen to, not because of all of the names, and we ... Forgive me, I didn't read them twice for you, but we heard all of the names of the righteous people of the Old Testament. It's to give us a lesson, that God, my brothers and sisters, will always at the right time come to save us. We think of the Old Testament sometimes in the wrong way. The Old Testament is not just a history, but it is a history of God's saving actions throughout all of time. If you think about the way we read the Old Testament, and what should come to mind when we're hearing all of these names, is that each and every time, just at the right moment, before it's too late, God comes to save His people. We hear of course the way the names are broken down, we hear about the deportation to Babylon. We hear about the captivity in Egypt, and each and every time God comes to save His people. The church, as we are preparing to celebrate Christmas, and we've actually begun now our celebrations, we've begun to sing the hymns of Christmas.

As the church now is preparing us for this great celebration, it wants us to remember God's righteousness. The righteousness of God from the very beginning of creation, that God has never forgotten His people. We sometimes think we're all alone, but we're not. God knows what we need, and He knows better than we when we need it. As it says in the scriptures, at the perfect time, at the fullness of time, Saint Paul says, God came, and Jesus Christ came and walked the Earth, so He could save us. He's going to come one more time. Just one more time. Again, like history has been throughout all of time, He will come at just the right moment to save us. We have to remember that in the gospel, when it begins talking about the end of times, it says, "So that for the sake of the elect, those days will be shortened." God knows that life is difficult. All of the history of the Old Testament tells us of the struggles, and the difficulties of life. All the things that if we were reading our Old Testament, which we should be, we should be remembering all of these difficult times in the history of people, with God.

As we know, these difficult times, difficult times are coming. People will fall away from the church. As we've done for centuries, and centuries, and centuries, but God loves us, and He will never abandon us, as He has never abandoned us. As the Jews roamed around the desert for 40 years, we sometimes roam around through life. Hopefully it doesn't take us 40 years to figure it out, but when we do figure it out at just that right moment, we will return to God, and He will come to escort us into His kingdom. This is one of the important reasons why we as Orthodox Christians, when we celebrate feasts like Christmas, we do not celebrate Christmas as just a feast in the past. Tomorrow night at church, we're not going to sing the hymn Christ was born 2,000 years ago. We're going to sing the hymn, today is born, because when it comes to God's timing, every day is the right day, and we celebrate the life of Christ every day as if it's a new beginning. Some of us may have gone through the desert this year. Some of us may have been taken captive by the struggles of life, by the temptations of the life.

We may have been enslaved like the ancient people were in Egypt, but God has come to save us from all of that. God has come to redeem us from our own sins, and the best part, my brothers and sisters, He did it before we were even born. He came to save us from our sins before we even committed any of them. That's how much He loves us, and that's how great Christmas can be in our life, if we take into consideration it's not about the money we spend on gifts, and it's not about the perfect turkey, and the perfect pastitsio, because let's face it. Every Christmas dinner has to have a good pastitsio, but it's not about any of that. Christmas, as Saint John Chrysostom tells us, is the queen of feasts, because by Christ coming, and becoming one of us, He began to restore our relationship to Him, and we weren't even born. What a great, great gift God has given us. What an amazing opportunity we have today and again tomorrow, and the day after, and every day for the rest of our life to remember these righteous names of the Old Testament, and to add new names to this list.

Because the names of the righteous and the history of God's work with the people didn't end 2,000 years ago. Look around our beautiful church, and we have the names of the new righteous, of the New Testament. The apostles, the saints of the church, the holy men and women who have been an example to us, and for us, this is what comes to our mind today. This is that beautiful gift that God gives us at Christmas. I pray that we each have a blessed and peaceful Christmas, because God loves us, and He's come to save us from our sins. Glory to God for all things.

(singing)

Be Transfigured is a production of Be Transfigured Ministries in cooperation with the Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Tarpon Springs, Florida. We depend upon your generosity to maintain our ministry. You can make a safe online donation when you visit our website, liveanewlifeinchrist.org.

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