John MacArthur shares a story I love. A little girl came home from Sunday school one day triumphantly waving a drawing. “Mommy!” she said. “My teacher says I drew the most unusual Christmas picture she has ever seen!” The mother took a long look at the picture and thought, “Yes, this is very peculiar indeed.” “Honey,” the mother said, “this is wonderfully drawn,” and then gently added, “but why have you made all these people riding on the back of an airplane?” “It’s Joseph, Mary and the baby Jesus’ flight into Egypt,” the little girl said, just a little disappointed that her mother didn’t pick up on it right away. “Oh,” the mother said, and then she added cautiously, “Well, who is this mean-looking man at the front?” “That’s Pontius, the Pilot,” the girl said a little more impatiently to her mom. “I see,” the mom replied. And here you have Mary and Joseph and the baby,” the mother volunteered. She studied the picture silently for a moment, and then summoned up the courage to ask one last question. “Honey, who is this fat man sitting behind Mary?” The little girl sighed, “Oh mom, can’t you tell? That’s Round John Virgin.”
Somewhere that little girl mixed Christmas fact with fiction. The result was a distorted picture of Christmas. As I look at print ads and holiday displays, I realize confusion is not limited to children.
The Apostle Paul left a Christmas drawing for his readers in Galatia, a simple black and white picture depicting our emancipation from sin because of the arrival of Jesus Christ:
But when the right time came, God sent his Son, born of a woman, subject to the law. God sent him to buy freedom for us who were slaves to the law, so that he could adopt us as his very own children. (Galatians 4:4-5 NLT)
I believe this is a picture God wants me to add to my holiday gallery – a slave set free from the chains of sin. Why? Because today we celebrate the birth of the great Emancipator, Jesus. The slaves he set free: you and me!
FOCAL POINT: Thank God for the forgiveness and freedom that is yours because Jesus the Emancipator set you free.
Copyright © 2009 Tommy Kiedis