Day 1: MORE TO THE STORY
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:14-17 ESV
Familiarity breeds contempt. Or so the saying goes. If that proves true, that’s a particular danger as we read or teach through familiar biblical passages. Why? Because if a passage has become familiar, that’s usually because it’s a crucial event or doctrine of the faith.
When we are familiar with a text, we are tempted to skim and then possibly edit or add because another fly-by leaves it lacking panache in our minds.
However, as we launch into 7 days of study based on the wise men’s journey to worship the Christ child as found in Matthew’s gospel, let’s slow down, notice and celebrate the Divine fingerprints in the details of the account. Then, let’s commit ourselves afresh to protecting them – especially when it comes to teaching biblical history to our children.
This is crucial because if we take too much creative license in our biblical details, we can compromise a child’s future confidence in the inerrancy of Scripture. If a young person discovers that their childhood beliefs are riddled with inaccuracies, the feelings of disillusionment or embarrassment may foster an erosion of trust in the core doctrines they have been taught. On the other hand, honoring the details of the text by respecting the interpretive process, even in children’s literature, can pay rich dividends in the future doctrinal confidence of our young people. By doing so, we can send them into adult life knowing precisely what’s in the Bible and what isn’t, equipping them to skillfully protect themselves from cheap counterfeits.
If we want our children to be careful when they’re older with the life-giving doctrines in Romans and Ephesians, we’d better be careful with the narratives in Luke and Matthew. After all, the rest of the Bible is dedicated to either setting up, or explaining the practical outworkings of these very events.
So, as we work through the divinely crafted details surrounding the physical entrance of God into redemptive history, let’s set aside our greeting-card, Christmas-movie theology, and discover that there truly is more to the story – Not because we need to add more to it, but because there is simply more to find if we choose, instead of contempt, to let familiarity breed contemplation.
This devotional series is based on the children’s book, The Christmas Quest, by B&H Publishing. It’s a rhyming & rollicking account of the wise men’s journey that is true to textual and historical realities and is accompanied by a fantastic activity packet complete with 7 days of kid devotionals that track with the adult series The Christmas Quest on the YouVersion Bible App Devotional , adventurous activities, and even a rhyming Christmas Quest Treasure Hunt that you can set up in your own home!
While the book isn’t free (you can buy it HERE, HERE or HERE), the extras are! Feel free to print as many as you’d like for your family, your church or your school group. Merry Christmas to you! Just visit TheChristmasQuest.com for all this and more, including a charming Look Inside video!