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Text Illustrations
A.J. Gordon was the great Baptist pastor of the Clarendon Church in Boston,

Massachusetts. One day he met a young boy in front of the sanctuary carrying

a rusty cage in which several birds fluttered nervously. Gordon inquired,

"Son, where did you get those birds?" The boy replied, "I trapped them out

in the field." "What are you going to do with them?" "I’m going to play with

them, and then I guess I’ll just feed them to an old cat we have at home."

When Gordon offered to buy them, the lad exclaimed, "Mister, you don’t want

them, they’re just little old wild birds and can’t sing very well." Gordon

replied, "I’ll give you $2 for the cage and the birds." "Okay, it’s a deal,

but you’re making a bad bargain." The exchange was made and the boy went

away whistling, happy with his shiny coins. Gordon walked around to the back

of the church property, opened the door of the small wire coop, and let the

struggling creatures soar into the blue. The next Sunday he took the empty

cage into the pulpit and used it to illustrate his sermon about Christ’s

coming to seek and to save the lost -- paying for them with His own precious

blood. "That boy told me the birds were not songsters," said Gordon, "but

when I released them and they winged their way heavenward, it seemed to me

they were singing, ’Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed!’"


This is Advent. And the message of these times is the song of those wild

birds. It’s the song sung in every carol this season: Redeemed! It’s the

meaning behind every gift given under the tree: Redeemed! It’s the Word the

shepherds heard: Redeemed! It’s the assurance Mary received: Redeemed! It’s

the star the Wisemen followed: Redeemed! [Depending on your style you might

omit the repetition of "Redeemed" at the end of each sentence but allowing

it at the end of this paragraph.] You and I have been trapped by sin, but

Christ has purchased our pardon. He who has this hope in his heart will

sing, and you know the song: "Redeemed, redeemed, redeemed!"


Will YOU hear the song this season? Will YOU see the signs this Christmas.

You can. If you will stand up and lift up your heads, it is all around.

Don’t you know that...