by Rev. Kenneth Tanner,
Pastor of Church of the Holy Redeemer in Rochester Hills
A fascinating story has been in the news the past few days, a second grade
student apparently suspended from a public school in Taunton, MA, when a teacher grew concerned about a picture he drew in response to an apparent Christmas art assignment.
If this is not a publicity stunt, my hunch is that the teacher and school owe this family an apology.
I love the vibrant orthodoxy of this child’s imagination. When asked to draw something that reminded him of Christmas his instinct was to travel from the manger in Bethlehem to the hill outside Jerusalem, to Golgotha. He drew a crucified Jesus because, helped along by a visit to a shrine with his family, his little untrammeled mind made the necessary connection between the Incarnation and the Cross.
But notice the final paragraph of the Washington Post story, where the administrators and teacher were disturbed that the child told his teacher he’d drawn “himself” on the Cross. What a powerfully Christian mind at work! I’m sure he hasn’t read Galatians 2:20, but the same Spirit that’s in Paul dwells in this boy.
My money is on this being exactly what it seems like, a child experiencing persecution for the sake of his Gospel-oriented vision and heart, for proclaiming–in a little school assignment–what we are called to shout from the rooftops.
I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.