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The Cradle, Cross, and Crown


The Cradle, Cross, and Crown

Billy Graham’s newest inspirational booklet, THE CRADLE, CROSS, AND CROWN, arrives just in time for your Christmas celebration. This collection of poems, devotional writings, Scriptures and lyrics of Christmas carols is a wonderful instrument to aid us in preparing our hearts for the Advent season. As Graham reminds us, there’s more to the message of Christmas than what we see in stores, Christmas trees and the presents under them each year. It’s really the threefold message of the baby born in the manger who went to the cross for our sins and will return one day triumphant as the King of kings and the Lord of lords.

Every December, a local radio station begins playing Christmas carols back-to-back. In Christmas songs and hymns both old and new, the truths of the Bible resound in our hearts. They fill us with longing for God’s presence in our lives and our homes, as well as the utter joy of the way God began to fulfill His promises at the stable in Bethlehem; the cost of the price Jesus paid on the cross; and all that we have to look forward to in His coming. Graham well understands the power of these carols, and you’ll find some of their lyrics interwoven throughout this devotional. 

"This collection of poems, devotional writings, Scriptures and lyrics of Christmas carols is a wonderful instrument to aid us in preparing our hearts for the Advent season."

In the booklet’s first section, “The Cradle,” you’ll find morsels on which to meditate that are centered on Jesus’ birth. Readings by Graham, poems from his wife, Ruth Bell Graham, and others’ writings give us pause to stop and think about the many aspects of a Savior who was born in Bethlehem, and the varied perspectives of those who witnessed the birth. Scripture and carols calm our hearts and spirits, and remind us to rejoice at the birth of the promised Christ.

In section two, “The Cross,” Graham carries us to what Jesus’ disciples initially feared was the final chapter of the Son of David, His death on a cross. How wrong they were! For first-century Jews who were looking to throw off the yoke of Rome, the Messiah looked very different from what they were expecting. Yet in all Jesus did, there was fulfillment of both Scripture and the words of the angel: “He shall save His people from their sins.” (Matthew 1:21) Jesus knew the purpose for which He had come, and He expresses this repeatedly in the Gospels, in both word and deed. In “The Cross” we’re reminded again and again of our need for a Savior, and how Jesus met all these needs in ways we’d never be able to ourselves. Scripture, devotional writings and hymn lyrics underscore these again, as well as our own need for a response to God’s Savior.

The last section, “The Crown,” points us toward the future. As Handel’s Messiah and the Scripture from which it’s taken remind us, there is a day coming when “He shall reign forever and ever. Hallelujah!” Scripture promises us, and Graham reminds us, that we can have hope that a wonderful country awaits us, with a just and righteous King. The baby born in a manger, who gave up His life for us on the cross, will return someday as that King of kings and Lord of lords. In the meantime, we can choose all that we do --- to follow Him, to love Him, to receive Him as our Lord and Savior. And to “fear not,” because God is good and Jesus is coming.

Whether you’re looking for a personal devotional for your own use this Christmas, a book of before- and after-Christmas readings for your family, or even someone’s stocking stuffer, THE CRADLE, CROSS, AND CROWN will encourage and delight you as you move towards the celebration of the Savior’s birth. Enjoy!

Reviewed by Melanie Reynolds on November 24, 2014

The Cradle, Cross, and Crown
by Billy Graham

  • Publication Date: September 30, 2014
  • Genres: Christian, Inspirational, Nonfiction
  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: Thomas Nelson
  • ISBN-10: 0529104989
  • ISBN-13: 9780529104984