This is the story I shared at Christmas Eve @ The Ridge. I hope you enjoy.
We don’t always think about what might have been going on in the spiritual realm that first Christmas…and we don’t really know…we also forget too that while God’s angels, His messengers, are spiritual beings and see things in a spiritual realm, they are not omniscient, as God is…so for just a moment imagine this scene with me…
Just off the throne room of Heaven everything was all abuzz. Preparations were being made to announce the arrival of the Messiah on earth. Michael the Arch Angel was putting together an incredible display of new stars and comets, meteor showers and cosmic displays. It was to be the most spectacular thing to ever fill the skies around the earth! Gabriel, who had just returned from delivering that amazing message to Mary, was hastily rehearsing with hundreds of thousands of angels and instruments to fill the entire atmosphere of the earth to sing praises and announce the birth of God’s Son. The plans were coming together nicely. But just then…
…a foul stench began to fill the air from the corner of the throne room. It was the kind of stench that would turn the stomach of any mortal while at the same time strike a sense of fear and dread in their heart, yet it had a peculiar sweet smell to it at the same time. It was the stench of evil! Gabriel and his warriors quickly drew their flaming swords in response and began looking around. From among the groups of angels stepped one hooded being. When he pulled back his hood, he was beautiful indeed, yet repulsive at the same time.
“Well, now! It looks as if we are getting ready for a party of sorts, doesn’t it? Why was I not invited?”
Gabriel took steps toward him with sword drawn ready to run him through….and put an end to this once and for all. Just then the voice of the Father said, “Stop. Leave him be…for now.”
“Lucifer, where have you been? From where do you come?” Then Satan replied, “From roaming about on the earth and walking around on it.” (Job 1:7)
“Why are you here?” God asked.
“I wanted to see what all this excitement was about. That’s all. What are you planning?”
“Well, I don’t think you’d believe Me if I told you.”
“Try me,” he said.
“The time for redemption has come.”
“Oh, it has, has it!” Satan said, laughing. “Do you think that those people actually WANT redemption? I have offered them everything their hearts desire! They want nothing to do with You!”
“But my plan is to offer them what they need…hope, forgiveness, life.”
“And just what is your ‘plan’ to do that?” Satan sneered.
God looked at him, then looked at his angels around the throne room…some with swords still drawn at the ready for His word to finish this evil forever…and said, “It’s just one word. And it’s written here.” God handed Him a scroll with one word written on it: “Immanuel…God with us.”
Lucifer gasped…then stood amazingly speechless for a moment, dropping the scroll on the floor. “No!” he said. “Not even YOU would do THAT!” *
“Ah, but I AM. ‘The Word will become flesh and make his dwelling among them. And they will behold His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father full of grace and truth.’(John 1:14)” Lucifer shrieked, “I’ll kill Him!”and fled the presence of the Lord. All was quiet for a moment. Then God whispered, “I know…but I will not just let you have them!”
Then, with the excitement of that moment past, Michael and Gabriel and the other angels, while keeping a wary eye out for anything the Prince of Darkness might attempt, resumed their preparations for the announcement of the Messiah…there was no more time to waste…
The Father then interrupted and said to Michael and Gabriel. “I see these plans you are putting together, but you know, that’s not really what I had in mind. I had planned a simple, small gathering in Bethlehem. We really don’t need all of this extra stuff.”
“But what about all of these stars I’ve put together?” Michael said. And Gabriel said, “My choirs and musicians! What about them?”
“We don’t really need all that.” the Father said. “My Son will be starting as a humble baby. His time to be lifted up will come later.”
Just then, Jesus appeared and began to step through the pearly gates and descend down that stairway of time to the earth. As He went, Michael pleaded, “Father! You must let us do something! We cannot let Him go unannounced! Please!”
God said, “Alright. Gabriel, just a few angels. Michael…just one star.” *
As Michael turned to leave, Gabriel stopped for a moment.
“Lord God, the plan is really that simple?” Gabriel asked. “I understand the need for a sacrifice…the need to make a payment for the sins of Your creation….in order to redeem them. But when the Son returns…what if they don’t listen and how will the Good News be spread through the rest of the world and history? It seems like You are placing a lot of responsibility on those few who will follow Him. If it doesn’t work…what is plan B?”
God simply paused as He watched His Son move out into the mist of time and finally said, “It has to work. There is no Plan-B…and by My Holy Spirit it will work.”
The plan is a 10-word plan of redemption, that we find in John 3:16. Ten words that changed all of history and eternity:
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”
Jesus told Nicodemus…and each of us…that this was the way to God. It would be through Him and Him alone. He said in John 14:6,
“I am the way, and the Truth, and the Life; no one comes to the Father but through Me. If you had known Me, you would have known the Father also; from now on you know Him and have seen Him.”
All kings start as babies and become kings. Jesus started as a King and became a baby. There was no other way…
There is no other way. There is no plan B for us. The question this Christmas is, “What will you do with Jesus?”
If you don’t know Him, will you receive the gift of eternal life that He has provided and offered to you? There is no other plan for hope, forgiveness, and eternal life.
If you have received that, will you regift it? There is no other plan to carry the Gospel to those who need it.
So what will you do with Jesus? Receive the gift…then Regift it!
*This writing is compiled of original thoughts as well as a couple of thoughts influenced by, and adapted from, writings of Max Lucado and Derric Johnson (noted by *). Both of whom are much more gifted and creative than I will ever hope to be. Feel free to share but please give credit to all three if you do.