Every year during the Christmas season I take out and share this Christmas story like I do other Christmas decorations. I pray you enjoy.
I am not in the traditional workplace anymore, but I remember the coffee maker was the gathering point for socializing with coworkers. While pouring a refill there was talk about family, upcoming vacations, sports, or the ever popular grumbling in hushed tones about the boss.
So imagine.. the buzz around the coffee maker in Heaven a little over 2000 years ago when God’s plan for saving mankind was 'leaked out' around Heaven's coffee maker where Betty and Larry the angels meet to fill their morning cup of Heaven's finest brew. <pause> I am talking COFFEE not BEER just to be clear.
Betty: “Hey Larry, did you hear about the plan the 'boss' has for saving the world?”
Larry: “No, so what’s the scoop?”
Betty: “Well rumor has it, God's son Jesus will come to earth as a child born of a virgin in a barn and sleeps in a feeding trough for animals. His birth will not be proclaimed to the world to kings but to .. get this.. shepherds.“
Betty: “No really it’s true. , and Jesus will be raised by a common carpenter and his wife” and for the next almost 30 years in rural Israel.
Larry: “ Good one Betty, and so being a carpenter.. I suppose he will then build his father’s kingdom?” LOL!
Betty: “I know this sounds bizarre, but I heard it all from a very reliable source. And THAT'S NOT ALL. Next, Jesus will choose 12 men to assist him as key members of his kingdom movement.”
Larry: “You mean like a presidential cabinet of sorts comprised of priests, rabbis, maybe a few influential politicians, and seasoned military leaders would seem reasonable selections.
Betty: “No, .. they are mostly fishermen.”
Larry: “I see.. fishermen… So far we have Jesus born in a barn in obscurity except to shepherds, his critical years of development to be the King and Savior are spent as a carpenter instead of seminary? Yes, yes.. this makes ‘boat loads’ of sense…. NOT!”
Betty: “I know, I know.. BUT THAT'S NOT ALL... Next Jesus takes on the established religious community. He will challenge, and mock their rules and motives.. which of course flies like a politically and religiously incorrect Lead Balloon.“
Larry: “Now who is it you said you heard this all from? You were not talking to Cliffy from the mail room again were you? I know this is Heaven, but Cliff is full of it.”
Betty: “No .. it was not Cliff, it was from a very reliable source. Now be quiet for a minute and let me finish.. then you can let your jaw drop to the floor… because THERE IS MORE!”
Larry: - [ Larry motions that he is zipping his lip and smiles.. in silence ]
Betty: “All of this leads to a final week when the salvation message is realized. Jesus in this unconventional plan lulls the leaders of the day into .. falsely arresting him, mocking him, he is beaten and whipped to the point of death. Then to a jeering crowd he is lead up to a hill where he is ultimately crucified as a common criminal while he is rejected by the people he came to save… JUST THE WAY HE PLANNED IT ALL ALONG.”
Betty: Of course Jesus will not stay dead, but is RISEN from the dead, but not everyone will witness this.. and so believing in Jesus, and accepting his free gift of salvation will still be a matter of choice and requires a personal faith in things not seen or every fully understood.
Larry: [still silent, Larry stands with his arms crossed]
Betty the Angel: “That’s it Larry, believe me or not.. this is the God’s honest truth (no pun intended).”<pause> “Ok, now you can speak.”
Larry: I don’t know who put you up to this.. but I would NOT tell these wild tales to anyone else… This is all CRAZY TALK.. and I have better things to do with my time. Next time you have anymore ’Revelations’ .. get it in writing on God’s very own BLESSED executive stationary!! Next time consider your sources before swallowing a whopper like this one hook line and sinker. You are just soooo gullable.”
[Larry then walks back to work leaving Betty looking exasperated]
Ok maybe it was not quite like this, but I don’t think this is a story line embraced in Hollywood. Kings, great rulers, and most certainly saviors would be scripted to be spectacular and not born in a barn, surrounded by sheep, raised as a poor carpenters boy to be the ONE challenging the motives ot the established church, stirring the hearts of the people, who is ultimately crucified as a criminal, but rises again our savior.. Then again.. Hollywood’s vision of drama is Law & Order reruns and ’passion’ is a steamy Hollywood 'love' story.
I thank God for the beauty of his plan. God's ways are not our ways, and his thought are higher than our thoughts Is 55:8-9.
What a perfect and loving plan to save the world. Just like the wisemen when Jesus was born I pray we all seek to find the Messiah.
May God bless each of you with a great day and may the great news of hope and salvation shared around Heaven's coffee maker over 2000 years ago be realized in each of our lives.
The mutterings on life and faith by cartoonist Jeff Larson
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