Friday, December 15

In the Fullness of Time

This is a reading I wrote and read for last year's church choir Christmas program. If I remember right, it was followed by the singing of Come Thou Long Expected Jesus. I posted this here last December, too, but when things get busy, I'm not above recycling.

In eternity past, prior to his first creative command, God had a plan for the history of his creation. At the very centre of his plan was His own Son, foreordained to redeem humankind from the ruinous results of sin. That God’s own Son would come as Redeemer was at the heart of God’s purposeful will--the plan that he invariably works in all things to accomplish. It was a glorious plan, but a plan not yet revealed, and a plan not yet unfolded in history.

Piece by piece God’s word revealed his purpose, and piece by piece his command brought it to pass. We have a hint of God’s redemptive plan in the curse of the serpent: “He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.” The plan is there, too, in God’s promise to Abraham: “In you all the families of the earth shall be blessed.”

Piece by piece God’s word revealed his purpose, and piece by piece his command brought it to pass: In Noah, in Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and Joseph, in Moses and the children of Israel, in the giving of the Law--a law that held people captive rather than freeing them. These all were pieces of the plan, showing the need for deliverance and pointing forward toward the Deliverer to come.

Piece by piece God’s word revealed his purpose, and piece by piece his command brought it to pass: In the prophets of old who spoke, not according to their own will, but according to God’s plan, carried along by the disclosing work of the Holy Spirit, and moved by him to record those prophecies for us. God’s perfect plan raised up Isaiah, who prophesied of a virgin who will conceive a son whose name will be “God is with us.” God’s Spirit set Jeremiah apart from his mother’s womb to be a prophet to the nations, to reveal the coming new covenant when God’s law would be written on his people’s hearts. These prophets, too, were pieces of the plan, teaching God's people to expect the day when their Redeemer would come.

Piece by piece God’s word revealed his purpose, and piece by piece his command brought it to pass: Until the right time according to his purposeful plan, until the counsel of his will called for the fulfillment of his promise, until it was the perfect time for everything to change.

The captives longed for their freedom. All things were in place. It was the fullness of time.
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