The Waiting Years

Boy. He sure has waited a long time for his moment in history. And it has finally arrived. I wonder if he’s excited about it, or if he’s overwhelmed. Of course. His waiting ended because he lost his mother. That’s why his time has come. But he’s waited an entire lifetime. And he certainly has. Seventy odd years. Makes you wonder how long his reign will be. Certainly not as long as his dear mum’s. But that’s OK. It’s not for everyone to break records that don’t need broken. He has plenty of time to do what he was trained for. His moment has finally arrived.  I hope he’s up for the challenge. 

Some say his time has come and gone. Perhaps he should abdicate and pass the crown to his firstborn. Basically skip a generation. He’s already an old man. And what can an old man accomplish? That’s the question on a lot of young minds as they see older folks in the path of the young who are pushing to succeed.

So. He’s not as popular as his mum. Or his first wife. Or his firstborn son and family. After all. He did do them dirty. And everyone knows that dirty laundry stinks. So let’s chuck the Charles. They say. 

Looks like that won’t happen. He has been installed as the king of England. Even the national anthem has changed to honor him. And the changing of the guard is now the king’s guard. No longer the queen’s. Oh. The necessary changes that must occur when life hits unexpectedly. But was it unexpected? I mean. After all. She was ninety six. We did know this day would come sooner or later. And here we are.


But everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved. Joel 2:32


There’s another man whose time had come. Oh. He didn’t have to wait seventy odd years. His years of waiting were only thirty. And like the new king of England, this king was being prepared for the role his entire life. No. He didn’t receive a red box of news everyday like the monarch of England does. And he didn’t have a public coronation. His death, however, was on public display. But for this moment, let’s consider not his death but his life.

There was a stir at the time of his birth. Angels sang and shepherds bowed to him. An infant who was helpless already had people immediately bowing to him. At eight days old, old prophets who saw him in the temple were prompted to proclaim the Messiah had been born. There was no formal publication announcing the birth of the Messiah. A star in the east guided wise men to worship and acknowledge this quiet event. Throughout his early years, he was learning Scripture in the synagogue. He observed the Jewish laws. He knew who he was even when others questioned it. He was about his Father’s business, and his mother pondered these things in her heart.

He didn’t need any earthly prodding to start his ministry. His was a natural role. And he undertook it with humility and dignity. There were those who opposed him. And oh. How they opposed him. We saw that in his death. But during his three short years of ministry, he faced opposition on every turn. He was called a liar. When he cast out demons, the Pharisees said he did it by the power of Satan. Oh. How wrong they were. He knew it. And they knew it. They lived in fear of his power. They lived in the shadow of truth.

Some dared to call him the Messiah. Others dared not speak those words aloud. But crowds swarmed him when they heard he was in their neighborhood. His words were powerful and effective. A simple yet profound message. One not easily forgotten. His message was different from anything they had ever heard. And then the miracles. Sick and lame people were brought for miles for him to heal. And he healed all who were brought to him. Others he healed from a distance.

Sure. His earthly reign was a short one. Only three years. But his life and teachings still survive today. He hasn’t been forgotten. He won’t be forgotten. Oh. There are those who try to stifle his teachings. They try to silence others who share his message. But a light on a hill will always shine bright in the darkness.

Oh. There’s no comparison between these two kings. That’s not the point. The point is that we can’t get our priorities mixed up. We know which king will be faithful to us through the end of time. And really. There is no end of time. Our earthly time will end, but eternity is forever. So we must choose to live each day as if it’s our last on this earth. King Jesus will be with those who call him Lord in eternity. King Charles must choose for himself who will be Lord of his life. The same goes for each of us. Do you choose Jesus as your Lord and Savior?

Mary’s Birth Story

She was very surprised to learn she was having a baby. This pregnancy was unplanned. To say the least. She was engaged to be married. She was a virgin. So, technically, there was no way she could become pregnant. Except for one thing. An angel of God visited her. He said she would have a child. This child would be the Son of God. She was to carry and birth the Savior of the world.

Then during the final days of Mary’s pregnancy, she and Joseph left town. They traveled to Bethlehem to be counted in the census. It was roughly a seventy mile trip. Mary on the donkey. Joseph on foot. The terrain was hilly and uneven. It was rough country. The trip either went straight through Samaritan country, or down an out of the way path around the city to reach Bethlehem. The first option was dangerous and uncertain. The second route added more time to an already long trip.

On top of the uncertainties of the trip, Mary was heavily pregnant. Her time was coming due. Oh. She had no birth plan, as is the norm these days. She had never given birth. Perhaps she had been involved in midwifery for other women. Yet she was young. Perhaps she had witnessed her mother birthing younger siblings. Had her mother instructed her on what to expect in birthing a baby? Was she prepared to be completely alone with her husband who was not the father of her child? Did Joseph know what to expect when his wife was expecting?

When the couple arrived in Bethlehem, there were crowds of people. Hotel rooms were full. No vacancy anywhere. They found space in a stable where they spent time awaiting the impending birth. And her time came as they were in the distant city. She was not surrounded by women who knew her. She was not in the company of friends. She was alone with the man who was her husband but not the father of her child. She had yet to know this man intimately, yet he was to help her birth the baby.

Was it an awkward experience for both of them? Joseph was not experienced at delivering babies. Oh. He worked with his hands, but as a carpenter. His hands were rough and strong. But perhaps he was gentle as he soothed her sweaty brow. Was she in labor for hours? Was it an easy birth? Or, was this the perfect labor and delivery, because the Deliverer was being delivered? There were no robes of royalty for this newborn. Mary wrapped this infant King in strips of cloth.

Oh. There was no birthing room. No blood tests. No IV. No heartbeat monitors. No epidural. No apgar test. There were no newborn photos to share with the family. There were no footprints inked on a birth certificate. No steak dinners to celebrate the happy occasion. They were in a stable where animals were kept. Nothing was sterile about the place, yet this perfect child came to save an unsterile world.


The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel. Matthew 1:23


But the birth announcement was out of this world. Literally. As shepherds were in the fields that night, an angel burst onto the scene. He announced the birth of this baby. And then a choir of angels appeared and sang to the shepherds. They sang of his birth. Glory to God in the highest. Peace on earth. Goodwill to all men. The shepherds immediately left the fields and found the stable in Bethlehem. There they worshipped the infant King of kings and Lord of lords.

On the eighth day after his birth, Mary and Joseph took the baby to the temple where he was circumcised. He was given the name Jesus. An offering of two doves was presented that day. It was a typical day in the life of a couple christening their child.

But there were those in the temple. Two who had been waiting for this moment. They had been waiting for years. Their hearts had been stirred as he was brought in for this ceremony. They knew what only his parents knew. They confirmed that he was the Son of God. The Incarnate God in flesh. And only eight days old.

I’m sure Mary pondered this unusual announcement in her heart. She and Joseph had not shared the details of this immaculate conception with strangers. There was no need. Yet here they came. An elderly man named Simon and an elderly widowed woman named Anna. They each shared the prophecies of the birth of this One born in the royal line of David.

Everything we need to know about Mary’s birth story has been written. The information is shared throughout the Bible. The more personal and private details have been left out. Because they aren’t the focus of the story. The baby’s weight is inconsequential. The hours of labor aren’t counted. It doesn’t matter when her water broke. Or when she was fully dilated. The birth of this baby was ordained by God the Father. His birth was part of a beautiful, sacrificial plan for mankind’s salvation. No other birth story compares. The breath of eternal life is given to everyone who calls on the name of Jesus.

Long Expected Jesus

The people had been told for centuries that someone was coming to be their Savior. This was a promise and a prophecy that had yet to be fulfilled. The promise was for a new covenant that would replace the laws. This covenant would put in place the salvation of sins. Because this promised Messiah would die in their place. For their sins. He was to be the Savior of the world.

The Scriptures told details of the promised Messiah. He would be born of a woman. She would be a virgin giving birth to a baby. An assumed impossibility. This baby would be born in Bethlehem. He would be a descendant of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Judah. He was in line to sit on the throne of King David. Yet his reign would be eternal. He would be called Immanuel.

And so they waited.

Once he was born, some recognized the significance of his birth. Angels announced his arrival to shepherds. But life was not without risk for this newborn. Magi had told King Herod that an heir to the throne of David had been born, and they had come from a distant land to worship him. Herod knew his reign and legacy were at risk. So he had to act quick. This is when he ruled all boys aged two and under must be eliminated.

After the Magi’s visit, the family escaped to Egypt to avoid being discovered. Joseph had been warned in a dream to move, in order to save the life of the One who would die to save us from our sins.

Oh. But trouble continued to follow this man, Jesus. He didn’t ask for trouble. He came to bring peace. But a messenger would come before him to pave the way. This forerunner’s message would open the hearts of the hearers in preparation for the message of the Promised One. This Messiah, a prophet nonetheless, would be rejected by his own people. They would plot and plan ways to be rid of him. They would falsely accuse him. The religious leaders tried to trick him, but they failed at every turn. He outsmarted each and every attempt. At times, he just remained silent. Let them look the fools they were. After all, he was God in human form. Did they not realize it?

Oh. He bore our sins on the cross and suffered in our place. He bled and died so that we would have eternal life, if only we accept him as Lord and Savior of our lives.


For a child is born to us, a son is given to us. The government will rest on his shoulders. And he will be called: Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. His government and its peace will never end. He will rule with fairness and justice from the throne of his ancestor David for all eternity. Isaiah 9:6-7


Come, Thou long-expected Jesus,
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all-sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Charles Wesley

There were many prophecies that Jesus fulfilled in his lifetime. Some have yet to be accomplished. Because Jesus’ birth, death and resurrection weren’t the only prophecies. After his resurrection from the dead, he ascended to heaven to take his place at the right hand of God the Father. He will fulfill another prophecy by returning to take his people home. His return will break the eastern sky and draw all believers to heaven. So, we’re once again waiting for Jesus. We’re waiting for his return.

And now this world of weary believers is asking for Jesus to come once again. He fulfilled the first promise of coming as a man to save the lost. He has fulfilled the promised covenant. For we all are lost and in need of a Savior.  Now please do it again. Come to take your people home. We long for eternity with King Jesus. 

We await the wedding feast that he is preparing for us, his bride. Those who are invited to the wedding feast are called blessed. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lords. May his name be praised.

Oh, come thou long expected Jesus.

He was given authority, honor, and sovereignty over all the nations of the world, so that people of every race and nation and language would obey him. His rule is eternal—it will never end. His kingdom will never be destroyed. Daniel 7:14

This Man Jesus

I’ve been thinking about this man named Jesus. When he was born, there were some who recognized who he was. And they saw who he was not. They knew he was the Son of God and not Joseph’s son. He was one of a kind. One could say. But he was perfect. And that’s hard to say. Because there has been no one before him who was perfect and no one since. And no one else will be. After all, he never sinned. No one else can say that about themselves.

As he began his ministry, he spoke words that were different from what people expected to hear. He was followed by many, but hated by many more. He said he had not come to bring peace. He came to bring a sword. A man would be against his father, a daughter would be against her mother. Family would be against family. But why?

He came to bring division.

He said he did not come to bring peace, yet he was called the Prince of Peace. He came to bring a sword, yet he provides a suit of armor. His message was radical, yet he is the long awaited Messiah. He died on a wooden cross, yet he was the Great Healer. He promised eternal life, yet he died a physical death.

This man Jesus is a mystery to some, and a Savior to all who call on his name. He performed many miracles, yet he didn’t save himself from torture and pain and death.

He causes the sun to rise on the evil and on the good. He sends the rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. He is the chief cornerstone and the Rock of Ages. He was despised and rejected by men, but he died to save all of mankind.


This man truly was the Son of God!
Matthew 27:54


Don’t imagine that I came to bring peace to the earth! I came not to bring peace, but a sword. I have come to set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. Your enemies will be right in your own household! Matthew 10:34-36

The message of Jesus Christ started a revolution, and it is still going strong today. Both the message and the revolution. There are times of revival and there are times of rebellion against his message. Many have repented of their sins, and many have fallen away.

Jesus was a Jew, but his message was for all people. Jews. Gentiles. Everyone. He was not partial. His message was for men and women. He spoke truth to all people at all times.

His wounds healed my sinful heart. His death gave me eternal life. And when he arose from the dead on that third day, he made the way for my sins to be buried in the deepest sea.

He submitted to his Father’s will and left heaven. He was born a baby and grew to be a man. His earthly life lasted 33 years. But he packed a lifetime into those years. His ministry was only three short years, but in that time he upended tradition and the Jewish laws. He appeared to be a rebel, yet he spoke only truth. His message was not for the faint of heart, but for those seeking the Way. His life was prophesied and fulfilled. He was the final answer for a sinful world.

This man Jesus died for me. He literally breathed his final breath as a promise of eternal life in exchange for my repentance. He was God, yet he gave his few years to a human life on this earth and experienced all the temptations that mere mortals face. Yet he never gave in. He never submitted himself to those temptations. He was without sin. He was God in human form. Oh, the day before he hung on that cross, he begged his Father for his life. He asked to be given a pass on this act of sacrificial love. But God, his heavenly Father, said no. My will, Son, is for you to hang on that old rugged cross and die for the sins of all mankind. Just this once. And once was enough. He paid the ultimate sacrifice with his human life for my human sins.

Jesus is the Word of God incarnate, and yet he submitted to the Scriptures.

Michael Horton

Jesus paid it all. All to him I owe. Sin had left a crimson stain. He washed it white as snow.