I remember reading The Story of King Jesus to my daughter for the first time, earlier this year. I’d just seen it in layout, and the publisher let me keep the printouts. I couldn’t wait to get home from Colorado to show it to Elizabeth.
I’m not sure if it was a stalling tactic, but that night before bed, she made me read it twice. (I didn’t object.) The second time through, she began repeating bits of the story under her breath.
Afterward, she asked, “When will it be put together?” I thought she was asking some deep spiritual question, as in, “When will the world be put back together?” (One of the recurring themes of my book is how God is making the world right and good again.) She cut me off after a few seconds of fumbling for an answer and said, “No, dad. When will your book be put together?”
Well, at last I have a good answer. Because this came in the mail yesterday…
I was so excited, I forgot to change her into her PJs before saying goodnight.
We read the book at bedtime—this time the proper, bound-up version—because I want Elizabeth to know that even though there is much in our world that’s not as it should be, God made it good, and he is making it good once more.
I want her to know the gospel is more than just what happens to us when we die. It’s about what we do while we’re alive. That Jesus not only defeated death; he made it possible for us to live.
I want her to know that Jesus is for everyone.
I want her to know that the gospel is liberating and life-giving. That if something is oppressive and soul-destroying, then it isn’t the gospel. I want her to know that God invites us all to join him in making the world right and good again.
I can already see glimpses from my daughter that the story is beginning to sink in, that it resonates, that it is life-giving for her.
And that is the best Christmas present I could ask for.
The Story of King Jesus is available for preorder now.