In stories the hero arrives just in the nick of time. James Bond turns off the detonator with 007 seconds remaining. Han and Chewbacca arrive just as Darth Vader is about to fire on Luke. That sort of thing.
While the Bible tells us that Jesus’ incarnation took place at the right time, the narrative of the Gospels continues to point out that Jesus arrives after the nick of time. He arrives when it’s too late. When the situation is hopeless. He doesn’t come to stop the bad thing. He arrives to overcome the bad thing and redeem its effect. And he doesn’t use any other means to achieve that than himself.
That’s our proclamation.
From Diary Of A Pastor’s Soul:
I’ll never understand why Jesus so often prefers to show up after the nick of time has come and gone, after we’ve been let down by everything else we asked to use to save us. But I do know his nature is to bring light into the darkness of depair. This is at the core of the how I keep trying to preach.
What is important is not how inadequately I present the hope, but that for thousands of years hit shops is the most real thing the church has believed. In the resurrection of Christ, death is not longer the final chapter of any story. There is always the invitation to come out of the tomb.
Diary Of A Pastor’s Soul, M Craig Barnes, Brazos Press, 2020, pgs 197-198.
I’ve never heard it expressed this way, but this sums up why I call the spaces I work in ‘study’ and not ‘office’.