There is intrigue, suspense, danger, romance, drama, sacrifice and much more. The characters are varied and colorful. The setting of the story ranges from a humble village to faraway kingdoms. The plot is carried out by oppressed people in a powerful empire.
And yet, as we head into 2013, let us keep in mind that the most powerful element of this story is a life-changing message good for every day of the year.
Lying in that manger was not just an adorable baby. The eternal, almighty God was lying in those swaddling clothes.
Colossians 2:9 says of Christ that “in him dwelleth all the fullness of the Godhead bodily.” He was Emmanuel, “God with us.” He was called Jesus, “for he shall save his people from their sins.”
‘The Fullness of God’
By Timothy Benefield
A twinkling, blinking, winking star
So softly wafted from afar
Its friendly light on wondrous scene.
Within a lowly cattle shed
Stood ’round a humble manger bed
A man and wife, both so serene.
And the star gently lit with its warm, glowing ray
All the Fullness of God in a cradle of hay.
The bards of old, so bold, foretold
The Christ of God all would behold.
When timely acts were brought to pass
The age presaged had come and gone.
All was fulfilled before the dawn.
No honored vow could this surpass.
Here the promise of God held no more in delay.
Here the Fullness of God in a cradle of hay.
A cruelish, ghoulish, foolish fiend
Named Prince of Darkness sought to end
God’s perfect and redemptive plan.
Each plot prepared was hatched in vain.
No pow’r of Hell could long sustain.
No force or foe could stop this Man.
And old Satan himself surely glared in dismay
At the Fullness of God in a cradle of hay.
The aim, and blame, and shame of sin
So filled the frame of man within
He could not choose its grip to quit.
No place to hide, no way to leave,
No manmade way to gain reprieve.
No payment could his sin remit.
From man’s sin to the Lord there was only one Way,
Through the Fullness of God in the cradle of hay.
The price of vice precise resolved
That spotless blood be thus involved —
Clean blood for spoiled must be exchanged.
Just One was pure and passed the test;
His death would bring all mankind rest.
The purchase price was then arranged.
On the cross, crucified, Christ the Saviour would pay.
Christ, the Fullness of God, in the cradle of hay.
The preaching, teaching, reaching Christ
Gave up His life, and that sufficed.
The next step fell in mankind’s hand.
This Gift of God must be received;
The Gospel news must be believed
If one would reach the golden strand.
To gain Heaven as home at the ending of day,
Trust the Fullness of God in the cradle of hay.
The Rev. Timothy Benefield is pastor of Golden Valley Baptist Church. Sermon Notes is a column by local religious leaders.