Since an old year is about to disappear forever and a new year is about to begin, it is appropriate that we consider together what God has to tell us about time. Time is part of the created world. Time is measured by created things. The earth rotates on its axis and a day has gone by. The world revolves around the sun and a year has gone by. Sometimes we measure time by significant events. Isaiah’s vision recorded in Isaiah chapter six is dated by the death of King Uzziah. We often date events by the birth of children. The things of this world and our life in this world cannot even be considered except in terms of time.
Our identity is joined to events for which the dates are well known. As Lutherans we are familiar with October 31, 1517. On that date, Martin Luther nailed his Ninety-five Theses to the door of the Castle Church in Wittenberg, Germany. The Reformation of the church had begun. As Americans, we think of July 4, 1776, when the Fathers of our country declared that the thirteen colonies were independent and sovereign states.
But if we want to know what is the most significant date within all of human history, we turn to the words of St. Paul in our text. The “fullness of time” was when the virgin Mary gave birth to Jesus. That is when our identity as sons of God was established. This is important to remember especially now in 2020. We can easily let other things try and define us. Things like coronavirus, our weight, our marital status, our bank account. Paul would remind us that none of these things ultimately matter. What matters is that “when the full- ness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those who were under the law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.” Will you think on these things? Happy New Year!
Pastor Bryan E. Drebes
Pastor Drebes attended Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, Missouri, beginning in 1997. He spent the summer of 1999 teaching English to Chinese middle school teachers in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. He served a four-month vicarage at St. John Lutheran Church, Plymouth, Wisconsin, followed by eight months at Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas. Pastor Drebes was ordained into the Office of the Holy Ministry at Zion Lutheran Church, Palmyra, Missouri on August 19, 2001, and installed as Associate Pastor of Bethany Lutheran Church, Overland Park, Kansas on September 9, 2001. He served Bethany for 14 years. Pastor Drebes accepted a Divine