When I was 3 years old, the church where my father was pastor was preparing for its annual Christmas musical. Since Dad was the pastor and Mom worked with the music, they usually let me stay in the worship center while they rehearsed. The children’s choir practiced a song about a little lamb at the manger. Although the other boys and girls were in elementary school, they had me, the 3-year-old preacher’s kid, stand with them and sing.
After the song, everybody took a break. But I marched up to center stage, and proudly proclaimed, “I don’t wanna be a lamb. I wanna be a chicken!”
I have heard my parents tell that story all of my life. Nobody knows why I said that. Maybe a dormant tendency to cheer for the South Carolina Gamecocks lay within my soul. I don’t know. But it reminds me of an important truth.
We can make many choices in life, but we cannot choose who we are. Our nationality, our family, the color of our skin, our native language, are things that simply are. We don’t choose those things. I may want to be a chicken, but I’ll always be a human.
God, however, chose to become human. He chose to take on flesh and become one of us, being born of a virgin in a stable. John 1:14 put it this way: “The Word became flesh, and dwelt among us.”
The Bible uses many words to describe who Jesus was when He came to earth. The angel quoted the Old Testament, saying He was Immanuel, which means “God with us” (Isaiah 7:14; Matthew 1:23). John the Baptist called Him the “Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Jesus knew what John’s words meant. A lamb was used by Jews as a sacrifice for sins. Jesus knew that one day He would be nailed to a cruel cross as a righteous payment for the sins of mankind.
Jesus courageously accepted this choice, painful as it was, because He loved us that much. Jesus was saying, “I don’t wanna be a chicken. I wanna be a Lamb.”
(Copyright 2010 by Bob Rogers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Read this column each Friday for a mix of religion and humor. For more “Holy Humor,” visit the Web site of First Baptist Church of Rincon at www.fbcrincon.com.)