Faith & Values
Preacher's Corner: In the fullness of time
Dec 4, 2015 at 6:00 PM
While those Jews who held to the promise of a Messiah waited and waited, God was not busy doing something else. From the last Old Testament prophecy, throughout 400 years of silence, God was not too busy to fulfill His promise of a Savior who would one day bring true freedom to a fallen world.
In the fullness of time – when everything was precisely as the Almighty had sovereignly prepared – He sent His only begotten Son, that whosoever would believe in him, would not perish, but have everlasting life.
Through all the years of waiting, from generation to generation, through that long silence with no more prophecies, into a time when Israel was burdened by a massive and pagan Roman government, finally and with no pomp and circumstance such as the world knows, an infant was born in a lowly stable.
Imagine the Son of God surrounded by the potent smells of the stalls, wrapped not in royal robes, but in common cloth, little noticed by the masses that had come to Bethlehem for a census. God himself took on human flesh and became one of us in the fullness of time!
Someone not understanding God’s ways – and most of us do not – might think, “Surely there was a better time and place to send His son. Why not when Israel was at full glory as in the times of David and Solomon? Why not before the exiles and oppression?” It’s because God works in His time and His purpose to fulfill scripture and to make certain His plan is not be changed to suit man’s expectations.
In the fullness of time, Christ arrived to be born in Bethlehem. Bethlehem is the city of Bread – Jesus is the Bread of Life that came down from heaven. Eat the manna in the desert, and you’ll die eventually. But consume the Bread of Life, and you’ll live forever.
In the fullness of time, God sent Jesus to fulfill the scriptures. The Messiah was to be “cut off” and in such a manner as is described in Isaiah and in the Psalms. He was indeed a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. The time of his ministry, the time of his miracles, the time of his passion – all in the fullness of time by God’s own design.
This month many Christians are preparing for the celebration of Christmas. It’s a joyful reminder of a loving God who decided to become human, to feel pain, to experience temptation, to know hunger, to understand loneliness, to seek and save that which was lost. And he accomplished the task set forth by the Father in the fullness of time. His life was an example of how we Christians should live – honoring God above all else, being obedient, loving, charitable, and developing a deep faith that endures.
This is accomplished only with the help of the Holy Spirit who indwells all who believe and trust in Christ Jesus. And it is only successful in the fullness of time.
So we focus on the birth of Jesus as the monumental and incomprehensible miracle of the Incarnation- the Word of God becoming flesh and living among us! As we prepare for the Christmas and all the trappings, you might want to think of another promise and your preparation.
Christ promised to return and to judge the world. Christians from many generations have waited and longed for this event and some can’t imagine it happening anytime soon, as did some of those of Old Testament times awaiting the Messiah. But God’s promises are true and this too will happen – in the fullness of time.