Bad Timing as Christmas Draws Near
I complained to my old neighbor in Saskatchewan yesterday: “I should be dancing around the Christmas tree and boiling over with the joy of the season, but I’ve been at the dentist instead.”
Ed, my long-suffering friend, asked, “Haven’t you told me about this before? It seems to me I have heard about toothaches and dentist appointments for months.”
“A couple of months,” I said, “but I had three cavities filled last week and have two more to get filled next week. I have been to the dentist’s office so often I’m almost one of the staff. The fact is that I may not get done at the dentist before Christmas and may start the new year off getting two teeth capped. I also really need your sympathy as there is a terrible cold going around our city that has me lower than dirt. Those of us who have it are ignored, shunned, isolated, and blacklisted except at the dentist’s office where they wear masks and rubber gloves. I’m suffering from bad timing, for no one should go through the Christmas season having a cold and dental appointments.
Ed threatened to hang up the phone if I didn’t stop bellyaching. He said that at least he knew that he could send me a box of Kleenex for a Christmas present and know it was a gift I could use. My cold was good timing for him.
There is considerable bad timing in the first Christmas, as told in the Bible. Mary was pledged to be married to Joseph, but before they could be fully married, Mary was found to be pregnant. The baby wasn’t Joseph’s who was not happy with the wrong timing of Mary’s pregnancy. He thought of divorcing her. An angel of the Lord told Joseph that he should not be afraid to take Mary as his wife for the child conceived in her was from the Holy Spirit.
There is never a good time to be counted for taxation even in the Bible. Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken in the Roman Empire, and everyone went to be taxed. It was not a good time to go to Bethlehem so that Joseph could be counted there, because Mary’s time to give birth was near. It was bad timing to find a room in the inn at Bethlehem because it was full of people there for the census. Mary had to give birth to her baby in a stable. They named the baby Jesus as the angel told them to do. Jesus was a name that meant he would save his people from their sin.
It was a bad time to be born King of the Jews as King Herod at Jerusalem would not allow anyone to threaten his position as King of the Jews. Wise men from the east came with gifts of gold, incenses, and myrrh for Jesus. When Harold sent soldiers to kill all babies at Bethlehem, Jesus’ parents had taken him to Egypt, where they had the gifts of the wise men to live on until they could safely return home to Israel. God’s timing is always right to save us from our sins and give us what we need for our lives.