December 26

Galatians 4:4-7

“But when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, in order to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as children.” vss. 4-5

We don’t know whether Paul was familiar with the infancy stories included by Matthew and Luke in their gospels–but he regularly emphasizes the humanity of Jesus in his epistles. Jesus was born of a woman and was a Jewish man raised under the law. Early the Church became fixated on the divine dimensions of Jesus’ life and he became an object of worship. It was too hard for people to think of Jesus as being both divine and human, so they focused on the divine. To quote Richard Rohr, “Most Christians are very good theists who just happen to have named their god Jesus.” But Paul plainly believed that Jesus was first of all a human born at a propitious moment in history that he called the “fullness of time.” In these decades everything was set, not only for the incarnation, but for the rapid expansion of the good news of God’s grace and the inclusive nature of God’s love. Now this doesn’t mean it’s wrong to make Jesus the focus of our lives and to follow him as disciples. Indeed that’s what he calls to do–and in so doing we become his brothers and sisters, adopted children of God, born as humans to serve as God’s presence in a world sorely in need of good news.

Thought for the Day: What does the phrase “fullness of time” mean?

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