Late (But Right on Time)

December 18, 2009 | 21 comments

I study the Nativity and see myself in its characters:

I’m the peasant girl on the fringe,
who wonders: Dare I enter?

I’m the breathless shepherd,
brow still beaded with sweat from all the running.

I’m the sheep,
bleating in the presence of a newborn King.

I’m Mary,
treasuring up, with birth pains forgotten.

I’m Joseph,
flabbergasted and tongue-tied that I’m Family with the Son of God.

But today, on this day when I study the molded figures at the stable, mostly I am:

One of the Magi
who studied the Scriptures
and found Him in Word
(but not in my heart)
Then I chased a Star
and showed up late
(but just in time)
to drop to my knees
and worship.



The Magi in my Nativity are near the manger, but Scripture says they didn’t show up until much later. They followed a star, a moving star, to the King, now in flesh appearing.

Perhaps, by the time they’d arrived, Jesus had taken first steps; fallen and skinned Holy knees; bumped his head, O Sacred Head; sprouted first teeth; spoken first words, dripping like honey from wee lips of Holy God!

The Magi came with gifts to see God in a little boy’s body. Overcome, they fell to their knees in worship.

And I, too, fall before the Christ.

I grew up knowing the stories, looking and hoping for a Messiah, and following a moving Star on the promise that this pilgrimage of the Word would not return void.
Unlike the Magi, I strayed from the path, followed other stars.

But the Way in the Manger beckoned me: Come.

I showed up late, bringing Him gifts. I was tardy, yet received a crown.

Today, I fall before Him once again, and He whispers: “You weren’t late. You came right on time: Mine.”


“They could hardly contain themselves:
They were in the right place!
They had arrived at the right time! …
Overcome they kneeled and worshipped Him.”
— from Matthew 2 (The Message)

***

Today, Lord, I consider the ones who follow other stars. These are the loved ones we lay at your feet, ones who continue to stray. And You remind us: There is Hope in a Child and the Promise of an empty tomb. You remind us that your ways are not our ways, nor is Your timing ours. In this season, we wait on You. And You, Lord? You are never too late. Amen.

by | December 18, 2009 | 21 comments

21 Comments

  1. katdish

    Okay honestly? I'm the donkey. Because I can be a tad stubborn at times and can be quite loud.

    Reply
  2. Candace Jean July 16

    You write so beautifully, yet raw and convicting. Wow, I just may be getting into a Christmasy place after reading this. Thank you, God bless you.

    Reply
  3. Lyla Lindquist

    Late . . . but just in time.

    Whenever that is, our falling before Him, it's just in time.

    Beautiful.

    (And I'm with Candace; if I hang around here enough, I might even start to welcome Christmas . . . before it's too late.)

    Reply
  4. Kay

    Jennifer, This is beautiful. You write so well, but mostly I appreciate your insight. Thanks for a wonderful treasure.
    Kay

    Reply
  5. A Simple Country Girl

    Oh yes, those who follow other stars are heavy on our hearts now too.

    Wouldn't you loved to have been the one who carved or crafted the feed trough? The very resting place for the baby Jesus…

    Blessings.

    Reply
  6. Chris Godfredsen

    The whole piece is a work of art, but this last paragraph cut me to the core: "Today, Lord, I consider the ones who follow other stars. These are the loved ones we lay at your feet, ones who continue to stray. And You remind us: There is Hope in a Child and the Promise of an empty tomb."

    Someone near and dear to me follows another star these days – my prayer is that the Hope of all hopes will grab ahold in His time!

    Beautiful, as always.

    Reply
  7. Chris Godfredsen

    The whole piece is a work of art, but this last paragraph cut me to the core: "Today, Lord, I consider the ones who follow other stars. These are the loved ones we lay at your feet, ones who continue to stray. And You remind us: There is Hope in a Child and the Promise of an empty tomb."

    Someone near and dear to me follows another star these days – my prayer is that the Hope of all hopes will grab ahold in His time!

    Beautiful, as always.

    Reply
  8. Jennifer

    Our Bible study leader sent us cards this season asking us how it felt to be a modern-day wise wo-man, searching the Scriptures for His truth. I never had thought of myself like that before, but yes! I would have wanted to trek out to find that star, too.

    Reply
  9. Beth E.

    God's timing is perfect. He was ready and waiting for you when you arrived!

    What a beautiful post. I'm laying some family members at the feet of Jesus, praying they will follow the star to Him.

    Blessings,
    Beth

    Reply
  10. Rose

    Jennifer, what a beautiful post. I felt every word, filled with emotion. I have never thought about the nativity in quite the way you presented it. Thank you for sharing your thoughts on it.

    Hugs and Merry Christmas!

    Reply
  11. ~*Michelle*~

    Oh Jennifer….God knew what He was doing when He led me here tonight. I am home for only a second, and decided to pop around while I wait for my son to shower….you were on my heart for some reason.

    I am going through something this week that I shared today…..and Lord knows that I needed to read these sweet words of Promise and Hope you shared:

    "You remind us that your ways are not our ways, nor is Your timing ours. In this season, we wait on You. And You, Lord? You are never too late. Amen."

    I cannot thank you enough….

    Reply
  12. Wylie

    This has blessed me!!!! Thank you!!
    Wylie

    Reply
  13. L.L. Barkat

    this I liked…

    "Then I chased a Star
    and showed up late"

    and of course Katdish being a donkey. Who couldn't like that bit of amusement. 🙂

    Reply
  14. Monica Sharman

    Sometimes I wonder about God's timing. But then I remember His "fullness of time"…
    Thank God, when I'm late He meets me with grace instead of a tardy slip. 🙂

    Reply
  15. Karen

    You've brought tears to my eyes once again…so beautiful…my heart is full…

    Reply
  16. FaithBarista Bonnie

    "Then I chased a Star and showed up late (but just in time)to drop to my knees and worship."

    Beautiful with story behind it. You are right, sister. We are Star chasers… right on time.

    Reply
  17. Arianne

    Thanks Jennifer for another great post. Praise God that we have hope to wait on those following 'other stars', all in His timing….

    Reply
  18. mom2six

    Praying the prayer you ended with…loved ones following other stars far from Christ. Thanks!

    Reply
  19. Doug Spurling

    "Today, I fall before Him once again, and He whispers: "You weren't late. You came right on time: Mine."

    Often I feel I've wasted so much, too much time. Like it's too late for me.

    Thank you Jesus…only you can manipulate time and make us right on time, restore the years…

    “ So I will restore to you the years…" Joel 2:25

    Reply
  20. Anne Lang Bundy

    I showed up late, bringing Him gifts. I was tardy, yet received a crown… Today, I fall before Him once again, and He whispers: "You weren't late. You came right on time: Mine."

    How very reassuring to a woman still struggling to stop regretting all my years B.C.—who is still consistently late for everything because it's so hard to stop whatever has captivated the moment.

    Reply
  21. sanjeet

    Wow, I just may be getting into a Christmasy place after reading this. Thank you, God bless you.

    Work from home India

    Reply

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