The first line of every blog of mine that's posted begins the same way.
Time is marked.
Today's started with Tuesday, December 4, 2012.
And during this Advent series, my title ends with words that mark time.
Time is important to all of us, and we all mark it somehow.
I'd like to recommend a marking of time I've started doing when I read the Bible. I've "stolen" it from Kay Arthur's Inductive Bible study method. One aspect of this study method advocates looking for key words or ideas and marking them with different colors or symbols.
One of those symbols is a clock.
Every time you read something in Scripture that references time, draw a clock in the margin.
When you do that, you are making yourself look for the "when," one of the 5Ws that we all need to ask when we are gathering basic information. (In case you've forgotten, the 5Ws = who, what, when, where, and why).
All the "whens" in the Bible are especially meaningful for me to notice because it reminds me that God has this whole time thing - this whole history and whole future thing - under control. He does all things well and in good order and in good time. And I can trust him.
So every time you see any reference to time in our Luke 2 passage, slow down, and draw a small clock in the margin. That slowing down will be worth your time.