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Faith & Insight: Christmas lesson comes from nursery rhyme

Ken Haskins
For the Nevada Appeal

It has been suggested that “Mary Had A Little Lamb” was written as a coded nursery rhyme to comfort and to encourage persecuted Christians at Christmas. Understood from a Christian perspective, the rhyme does tell the Christmas story.

“Mary had a little lamb.”

Mary “gave birth to her firstborn, a Son.” A manger was prepared for the Lamb of God. Shepherds were the first to visit the Lamb and the first to tell His story. John the Baptist introduced Him as “the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” The Lamb’s sacrificial death was decreed from eternity (Rev. 13:8). The Lamb was slain, but now lives. The Lamb is heaven’s Temple and heaven’s Lamp. The redeemed have been washed in the blood of the Lamb. Their names are recorded in the Lamb’s book of life.

“His fleece was white as snow.”

Mary “wrapped Him in cloths.” The perfect Lamb wrapped in white cleanses sinners: Isaiah 1:18; Romans 5:8-9; II Corinthians 5:21; Galatians 3:26-27; I Peter 2:24; Revelation 7:13-14. The Lamb cleanses sinners and clothes them with Christ and His righteousness.

“Everywhere that Mary went the Lamb was sure to go.”

Mary “placed Him in a manger.” The manger speaks of availability and nearness to all. He was available and near to the lowly shepherds. In Christ, we are never alone: Psalm 23; Matthew 28:20; Hebrews 13:5. He is always near.

There are more words and truths to be gleaned from this nursery rhyme, but these are sufficient to cause any and all to thank God that nearly two thousand years ago, Mary had a little Lamb.

• Ken Haskins is pastor of First Christian Church in Carson City.