|Christmas Family Matters
Author: Brendan Aurabolt PM
In pursuit of the meaning behind the state of the world, Ted Toss takes Marie back in time to the birth of Christ. While there, Marie discovers something she never thought she'd find: Hope. This is something the entire family can benefit from.Rated: Fiction K+ - English - Spiritual/Drama - Chapters: 3 - Words: 5,634 - Reviews: 2 - Updated: 12-09-06 - Published: 12-02-06 - Status: Complete - id: 2283770
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Christmas Family Matters
Chapter 3: Now Behold The Lamb
A/N: Before I wrap this thing up I have a few recommendations for all the believers in the crowd. Number 1: Visit the Millennium Theater and Living Waters Theater in Strasburg, Pennsylvania. You can learn more by visiting bibleonstage (dot) com. They're actually building a new location in Missouri right now but the one in PA is the best! Number 2: Listen to the Gospel Christmas music while reading this chapter.
"Well, this is a surprise!" Mary said when she saw me. "When last I saw you, we were in Nazareth. I turned once more and you simply vanished."
"I'm still trying to figure out HOW." I replied with a smile. "There is so much light in you, Mary."
"And I can feel the presence of the Lord with you as well, Marie." Joseph replied with a laugh. "It seems the Lord has arranged for us to meet here, of all places! Come, let us go into Bethlehem and find a room." As we traveled through the town we quickly discovered it packed with people scurrying to register for the census per order of the Roman Empire.
"I think the baby's coming." Mary said after Joseph returned from registering for the census.
"We're going to need to find a room, then." I said as I started looking around. After searching for several hours, Joseph and I were unable to find a room, which in this case would be a bad thing. We knew for sure that the baby would not wait much longer.
"I think I saw a barn near the edge of town." Joseph said after confirming every Inn was full. "There were animals there but it looked like a safe place to stay the night."
"It will have to do for now." Mary replied. "Please take me there." Joseph led the way to the small barn. There were cows, sheep and a horse. And a VERY bad smell.
"This is disgusting!" I exclaimed as I held my nose.
"And from it shall be born the Son of God." Joseph added. And Mary brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling clothes and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for us in the inn (Luke 2:7-8).
"He's so pretty." I remarked with a smile. "And so tiny."
"Is that singing?" Joseph asked as we heard something from outside. When I went outside I could see a choir of angels singing to proclaim the blessed event it was.
"Glory to God in the highest and on earth, peace and goodwill toward men!" An angel proclaimed with a loud voice. As the night went on several shepherds came to see the Baby Jesus. Apparently, the angels announced the birth of Christ to all the world. When they saw the child they knew that this was indeed a blessed occasion.
A/N: Ok, time out for a minute. I figure I say this for accuracy before I continue. There is some debate as to weather the three who visited Jesus were Kings or just Wise Men. After all, there's the song 'We Three Kings' that implies that they are kings but traditionally, they are referred to as Wise Men. Well, thanks to Blue Letter Bible (dot com) it is with complete confidence that I can tell you that they are Wise Men, also called Magi in the New International Version of the Bible.
One of them is believed to have come from Saudi Arabia, the others what is today India and Mongolia. It's highly doubtful their countries of origin would be able to function normally if their leaders (also considered the spokesman for their deities at the time) traveled over 1,000 miles to see a newborn that was not only a foreigner but one who would one day put an end to all earthly kingdoms and set up his own.
Oh, and the Wise Men saw Jesus BEFORE the Holy Family fled to Egypt. XD
"Where is the child who will one day be king?" We heard someone say. That's when three men adorned in elegant robes strode in. When they say Jesus lying in the manger, they fell down and began to worship him (Matthew 2:11). Then they presented the child with Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh, which the parents gratefully accepted.
"This must be how Hannah felt when she dedicated Samuel to the Lord." Mary said when everyone had left. "Still, I can't help but feel fearful for the life he will live."
"According to the scriptures, he will save his people from their sins." I remarked before quoting John 3:16.
"Yes..." Joseph trailed sadly. "That means that one day, the child will..." And then the two of them broke down crying. They now fully realized what this meant.
"He is the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29)." I said. "Born into sin so we may live again, the precious Lamb of God." Right then, one of the walls faded away. What appeared next was Jesus' dying on the cross, his followers crying at the foot of it.
"Behold the price that had to paid to redeem this world." I heard the voice say. At this point I was no longer in Bethlehem. The scene chanced to Jesus' ascending into Heaven. "By willingly sacrificing his life, it is possible for all who believe in him to have eternal life when he returns."
"I know, but it's been nearly 2006 years since then." I replied as images from the last 200 years began to appear. "Almost all of the prophecies foretold have been foretold."
"Except one." I heard dad say as he appeared out of nowhere. "All that's left is for Jesus to return, whenever that may be."
"Is there any way for us to know when that is?" I asked him. "There were signs leading up to his First Advent, after all."
"And there are signs leading up to the second." Dad said. "The Books of Revelation and Daniel, in particular provide much information. All that has been going on must happen before he comes. That and every last man, woman and child on earth must know about Jesus before he can come. That was the task Jesus left to his followers before he went to heaven."
"The world have over 10 Billion People on it." I remarked. "And new ones are born every day. Not to mention there are so many Christian Denominations. How do I know which is the right one...?"
"For that one, I think we should talk at home." Dad replied with a laugh. And just like that, I was back in my room—alone. The broken light bulb shards were strewn about with my bible in the middle of my bed.
"Now that was strange..." I trailed before cleaning up the glass. After doing that, I went downstairs and saw dad reading something his office.
"That was an amazing experience." Marie said as she walked in. "I'll never forget it!"
"You're telling me." I replied with a smile. "Though, to be honest I have no idea what you're talking about."
"What?!" She exclaimed in shock. "But you were there! You were there at the beginning and you were there at the end, too! You must be joking!"
"Seriously Marie, I have no idea what you're talking about." I said. "Please sit and tell me everything that happened." When she recounted the story of how she relived the Nativity, I was amazed. With the amount of detail she was using I knew there was no way she could be making it up. "Still, the fact of the matter is I was not there." I said when she finished.
"How can this be?" She asked. "There's no way it could be anyone--" And then she stopped herself mid-sentence. "Dad, I think that was Jesus!"
"Are you sure?" I asked.
"It's the only possible explanation!" she exclaimed. "He answered my prayer and goodness, he answered it so fast!"
"What prayer?' I asked.
"Dear Lord, please help me to understand the reason for all the chaos and destruction going rampant in the world." She recited. As she said it I felt tears welling up. "Can this truly be your will? Millions of people are dying everyday! You, who sent Jesus to die for us surely must not have had this in mind. Please help me to understand the meaning for all this. This I ask in Jesus name, Amen." When she finished the tears had already began to fall.
"I—I said that same prayer when I was your age." I said after regaining some composure. "I believe you now. It seems the Lord has something important planned for you if he would show you these things."
"When I asked him what Christian Denomination would be best, he said I should ask you." She said. "Can you...tell me?"
"Yes." I replied, my face more serious now. "I'm sure you've noticed that while a lot of your friends and much of the world goes to Church on Sunday, we choose to honor Saturday as the Seventh-Day Sabbath." She nodded. "Like those of the Jewish and Islamic faith, we believe Saturday—not Sunday—was the day appointed by God to be the day of rest. We honor that by not doing any work on the Seventh Day from sunset Friday to Sunset Saturday. We are known as the Church of the Seventh Day Adventists."
"If that's true, then why do so many people choose to honor Sunday?" She asked. "Do they...hate God?"
"I wouldn't go that far." I replied with a laugh. "Sometime after Jesus returned to heaven, a Roman Emperor became a Christian. This would not have been such a bad thing if not for one thing—he made a decree that stated Sunday would be the new Sabbath that everyone should observe. The Roman Catholic Church, which arose when the Roman Empire was destroyed by Western Europe strictly enforced that law unto all of the known world at the time. The Crusades against the Jews and The Holocaust were two major efforts in an attempt to prevent the world from knowing the truth. I'm not saying the Pope and Catholics in General are evil—they're just people, after all. Most people go along with the status quo."
"What do you believe, father?" She asked me.
"I believe in the Second Coming of Jesus Christ." I replied. "That is the affirmation of Adventists the world over, as is it mine. What about you?"
And I'm ending the story here. You've heard what I have to say. Some would call it twisted but like I said, I was going to give you something to make you think. For more about the Seventh-Day Adventist Church, visit adventist (dot) org. I know everyone has different beliefs and I want to make it clear that I'm not forcing anyone to make life-changing decisions. That isn't my intent. I am just providing resources to back up what the story talks about. If you want further proof, pick up a bible and read it as you Insert Search Engine Here for more information. Prove that I am lying to you—I dare you.