The Lion in the Hay

We spend four weeks preparing for the coming of the infant Jesus, as well we should. His coming changed everything for all eternity. Even those outside the Christian faith celebrate His imminence and His come-nearness, as well they should. For in Christ, God came near as Immanuel, God with us.

We love to set the little lambs and donkeys in the stable where the Lamb of God slept as a newborn child. But sleeping with Him as lamb was Him as Lion. While we talk about God in attributes and analogies, (which is the only way for a human mind to attempt to reach the heights of the godhead), He cannot be pulled into parts. All of God does all that God does. In His tenacity, there is tenderness. In His tenderness, there is tenacity.

His transcendence (His far-off-ness) remains in His imminence (His nearness), and His imminence remains in His transcendence. As a child, He is a king. As a king, He remains a child. As lamb, He is still lion. As lion, He is still lamb.

While our minds cannot comprehend our God, our knees bow in humble worship. May our hearts approach his manger with the same fear with which one approaches a powerful king.

The Lion in the Hay

When, as little lamb, He lay,
All swaddled in the hay,
The fearful, ferocious lion
Slept with Him that day.

At twelve with a lion’s strength
He tenaciously taught men,
But then obeyed as a son,
Retreating home to His den.

As lamb He invited children
In His loving lap to laugh.
As lion, He threshed the temple,
Separating wheat and chaff.

As lion He long resisted
The liar and his kin.
As lamb He silently bore
The awful weight of sin

Simple in His complexity,
Complex in His simplicity,
He is both lion and lamb
Without a trace of duplicity.

In all He does, He brings
All His fullness to bear.
What He has joined,
We mustn’t split or tear.

In the perfect kingdom,
Lion and lamb will play,
For both dwelt in Him
As He slept in the hay.

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