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In the fullness of time, God ...

Dec 19, 2014, 2:46 PM | Article By: Galandou Gorre-Ndiaye

“You are the most excellent of men and your lips have been anointed with grace, since God has blessed you forever.” (Psalm 45:2)

Time is a process that gathers like a cloud and when it is fully blown, will bring forth; an event is birthed. Clouds will bring forth rain when they become full. Expectancy puts us in a waiting mood, but nothing can be done about it except the time has fully come.When an event matures before its expected time, it is premature.

All hearts, minds and eyes were waiting expectantly for the coming of a Messiah in Israel but few knew when the exact event would occur; it was a matter of timing. A number of players had to come on the scene to as it were prepare the way before the event could burst out like a rain cloud.

It had been prophesied that the event would take place in Bethlehem, an insignificant town in Judea. “But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel.” (Micah 5:2) Here, the venue has been announced.

The main agent was also known, though not by name. She was to be a virgin. “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.” (Isaiah 7:14)

This child will be a gift from God equipped with the necessary powers to settle impending matters.“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6) The names and titles by which he would be known and which defined the nature of his functions were catalogued.

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.” (Jeremiah 23:5-6)

Like tapestry, as we put the pieces together a beautiful ‘wholesome’ picture emerges. So it is when we piece together the different prophecies from the writings of different prophets - some of whose writings date eight hundred years before the birth of our Lord Jesus. God spoke and revealed his plan for humanity in order to restore his creation unto himself.

His redemption plan for humanity puts his Son at the helm. His special birth - that he would be born of a virgin – alluded to the special features of his personality. “You will be with child and give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus.”(Luke 1:31) This was startling news for Mary, the young virgin who questioned - after it had been revealed to her. “How will this be since I am a virgin?” (Luke 1:34) To this the angel responded; “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son Of God.” (Luke 1:35)

When the fullness of time had come, that is to say, when the time was right; God went to work to birth what he had at several instances predicted through his prophets. These events ran their courses without any spectacular publicity. They went unheeded by even the most simple eye. Though there was no room for them at the hotel, Mary delivered her baby in a stable nearby. Shepherds were invited to witness and share in this joyous event as the angels sang and rejoiced. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favour rests.” (Luke 2:14) Meanwhile, in the background, the Magi from the east sought to make it to their ‘rendezvous’ with the Bright Star they had followed. “Where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.” (Mathew 2:2)

The simple circumstances surrounding the birth of Jesus do not make him any less the Messiah – the One sent by God. The Magi travelled from far country to witness this event – one they could not afford to miss. They sought to honour him with their gifts, but much more to worship HIM. Worship him this Christmas! Jesus is king! Jesus is Lord!