Have you ever noticed how fairy tales kind of echo the gospel? Frederick Buechner writes about this. Something inside us believes, or wants to believe, that the world as we know it isn’t the whole story.
In fairy tales something usually goes wrong or there’s some injustice or evil introduced. Then there’s a curse and someone is put to sleep in kind of a living death. Think, “Sleeping Beauty.”
Along with that, fairy tales are often stories of transformation: An ugly duckling becomes a swan. A wooden marionette becomes a real boy. A princess comes along, kisses a frog, the curse is broken and the frog becomes a prince.
According to Buechner, these stories resonate with kids of all ages because there is this deep longing for the curse to be lifted or to be rescued and changed. To be the frog that becomes a prince is in all of our hearts. These are all features, he says, that the gospel has in common with fairy tales, with one great difference. The gospel is true.
The truth of the gospel is that the curse has been lifted and Christians are not only rescued from a kind of living death but also radically changed. In 1 John 2:28–3:10, the Apostle John makes this about as clear as you can possibly make it.