“Good News For All The People”—Daily Reflections for Advent 2016
CHRISTMAS DAY, December 25th
For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.
Vaughn Shoemaker was a two-time Pulitzer Prize editorial cartoonist and devout Christian who prayed before creating each of his 14,000 cartoons. Among many of his memorable cartoon figures Shoemaker introduced “John Q. Public” as a victim of high taxes and corruption.
But Shoemaker is most remembered for a cartoon that appeared on Christmas Day on the front page of the Chicago Daily News for many years. Shoemaker’s cartoon showed a beautifully decorated Christmas tree with one unwrapped gift under the tree. On the unwrapped gift were the words: “Eternal Life”. Underneath the cartoon were the words of John 3:16 (see above). The title of the cartoon was “The Untaken Gift”.
When Shoemaker first showed a sketch for “The Untaken Gift” to his editors, they liked it, but expressed concern that it might offend some readers. Shoemaker stood his ground. The cartoon was then shown to the newspaper’s publisher, Frank Knox. Knox gave it one quick glance and said:
“Let’s be sensible. If it weren’t for John 3:16 there wouldn’t be any Christmas! Run it!” And run it they did.
Knox was right! We would not be celebrating Christmas today if God had not so loved the world that He gave His only Son. It’s God’s gift of eternal life and joy for anyone who will believe and receive God’s only Son. It’s all there in the Bible: “But to all who received Jesus, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God” (John 1:12). This is good news for everyone! It is just as the angel announced to lowly shepherds on that first Christmas night: “Do not be afraid; for see – I am bringing you good news of great joy for all the people: to you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is the Messiah, the Lord” (Luke 2:10).
Good news for all the people!
- Have you received God’s Gift of eternal life?
- What do you want to say to God about His Gift for you?