The Church Planter Collective podcast recently talked about the arts and Advent. The following is creative writing from church planter Anna Sadler. It is offered to spark creativity in your own ministry for the upcoming season of Advent.
Once upon a time there was a King. He was ruler over a great land, rich in beauty, wealth, and luxuries. There was no threat of war or violence – only endless peace. All of its inhabitants gladly served the King and were loyal, adoring subjects to say the least.
One of these inhabitants was the King’s own son – his only son – a son that brought him such delight. It was a relationship made of perfect love. The bond between them was so great, no one could fully comprehend it, much less threaten it.
The only sadness in the King’s heart was that of his long lost queen. He had rescued her from a poor country in the East when she was still young. He clothed her, cleaned her, and made her his wife. He loved her with a love so fiery and passionate none could match it or even fathom why a king of his stature would even look on her with affection.
But then that’s why his subjects loved him.
And the rest just wondered if he were real.
She had left him before; she was weak and longed for the things of her homeland. But this time she had been gone longer than ever before. He knew she had many bastard children, all of which she’d left to the street, ill-equipped to take care of them and with no true desire to love them. They were all orphaned now.
Still, his love for her had never waned. And for reasons unknown to anyone but Himself, his heart welled with love and compassion for her orphaned children.
None of his past attempts to win back his queen had worked. He had somehow hoped he would never have to use this final rescue plan he had, but he had always known he would.
The Prince had been aware of his father’s plan to rescue the abandoned children of the queen but didn’t know when the time would come. That day had come. After the morning meal, the Prince packed up. His father embraced him tightly and both shed tears.
“You will be back with me soon. And I will keep a watchful eye over you while you’re gone. Only you can rescue our lost and forgotten loved ones.”
The Prince nodded and turned to leave. As he traveled to the East, he thought about the charge of his father. Because of the bond he shared with his father, the weight of his father’s heart had begun to tug on his very own. Why he felt love for these particular children made no earthly sense. But the weight would only grow heavier as he spent time in the East.
Not long into his time in the East, he encountered the first of the orphans. She was in the street, about to be hung for being caught with another woman’s husband. The Prince rushed in to save her, narrowly escaping the angry mob around her.
“Why did you do that?” the young woman – barely yet a woman – asked the Prince.
He smiled slightly as he said, “My father has a special place for you. He knows you are worth more.”
The Prince traveled the country for three years collecting the queen’s abandoned, teaching them about the ways and country of his father the King. Even other abandoned, forgotten, or runaways gathered around him.
The local leaders and magistrates had become increasingly uneasy with his mysterious and confusing mission. They plotted in secret, eventually capturing and torturing him – all in an attempt to find out why he was truly there. Why was he stirring the people up? Was he trying to take over their land? Was he hoping to start a war to win for his King?
After enduring brutal torture, they took him outside the country’s capital to hang him on a large tree.
But he had left, with the orphans, a way to get to the king. Without it, they would have had to remain in their decrepit lives, destitute, depraved, and criminal.
Some left before his death. Others started their journey after grieving him.
None understood why he would risk his life – his place in the royal family – for the street trash of the East.
However, these orphans did understand that he loved them. They understood how important making their way to the King was – so important that it was worth giving his life.
The King would still pursue his wife, but now the way back to him had been made clear. Her children were now his own. He adopted them all, making them royal heirs and subjects of his kingdom. They no longer questioned the reality of his love and compassion, for they were the unlikely, unbecoming objects of it.
Not only so, but his love and desire for them was so strong, he had given the life of his one and only beloved son.
For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)
Another version calls Jesus the only “begotten” son of God. Begotten refers to the offspring; Jesus is the only Son of God.
Even the Son of God the Father loved us so much that He was willing to leave the riches and glory of heaven and royalty to come down to this earth – the lowest places of this earth – for mere humans like ourselves, with our lives in a mess, piled high in our sins, doubts, and confusion.
To give His life in the most brutal of ways – to be brought back to life to give us hope – all so we could be adopted into His family.
That’s the beauty of the Gospel.
That’s the wonder of Christmas.