1. Becoming Human – A New Christmas Story - Part One of Five

As you know, in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God when the earth was being created. Then one day, while it was Rome’s turn to bully the world God decided to make the Word flesh, starting in a stable in Bethlehem with the cooperation of a fourteen year old Jewish girl. 

I promised you an adventure and here it is! I have been given the amazing opportunity to take an aspiring immortal friend on an extraordinary advent journey to the capitol of the universe where God, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, resides. We will arrive well before Christmas day to allow us to see how God prepared for the Great Condescension. We are all familiar with the saga of Mary and Joseph, but until this moment no human has been privy to what was happening on the other side of the great divide during Mary’s pregnancy, particularly in the days preceding Christ’s birth.  Do you want to come with me?

Please be very quiet, and don’t be scared. I am assured that we will return to finish out our lives as if this journey had never happened to us…that is unless you choose to yield to the transformational power of the experience. Silly, you don’t have to decide now.

To go there we have to get back into the bubble we used to travel to creation week.  If you were with me then, in September 2008, you will remember how uncomfortable the bubble could be. But it is the only way to travel out of here and now.  If we are careful not to make jerking gestures we can fit into the same bubble together.  Wow, this is a wiggly bubble. I think I’ve got it. Okay, your turn.  Hoist yourself in. That’s it. Now curl up next to me. Good.  Comfy?  Okay, bubble close! Here we go! Bye world.

Now, we need to find a prayer and ride it up. Look there’s a church, let’s float over there. Bonanza! Here comes a wave of prayer. Bubble, hop on. 

2. Becoming Human – A New Christmas Story - Part Two of Five

A tale of two aspiring immortals who ride in a bubble upon prayers headed to God, to visit Him before He becomes human at Christmas.

I never realized how tricky riding on a prayer could be! This is a bumpier trip than I ever imagined. Are you okay? It’s getting so dark and cold. Are you whimpering? Oh please, don’t worry; we’ll be fine soon enough. Come closer and let me hug you. I didn’t know that we would have to travel through such a large expanse of darkness. I suppose God is so hard to find because stubbornly enduring difficulties yields the kind of faith that can destroy parasitic evil.

Oh! Here I am philosophizing when it’s only that being invisible troubles you. I’m sorry; I should have warned you. But how else could we fit? Isn’t it wonderful how we feel the presence of each other, and how we can communicate without material bodies! See how spiritual we are! I like this nifty little bubble!

Seriously, it’s important to be invisible because as we get closer to God you should know that we will not be able to see Him with our eyes either. Remember, it wasn’t until Christ was born that God had a body.

The bubble containing our two aspiring immortal friends careens through space passing shooting stars and star showers. After the bubble and prayers plow through a long pocket of turbulence the ride becomes smoother. The bubble finally enters light filled space.  

Look I see light over there!  Oh joy! The warmth will melt your fear away. Let’s go! 

Pal, you’re squeezing me too hard! Okay, okay, I know you’re happy; so am I. How magnificent! It really is as blue as the sky on a spring day, just as I imagined.

Once in the light, the prayers surge ahead, leaving the bubble behind to bounce around in its quake.

Wow! This is amazing; much more gorgeous than I ever imagined.  Oh my, this place so crowded. Who are all of these spirits?

“Welcome, we have been waiting for you. We are the angels that serve in God’s throne room. I am Gabriel sent to greet you. Allow me to release you from your bubble.” With that our bubble burst and we poured out like the aroma of a stew simmering on a cold winter’s night.

Hello, I had forgotten about angels. I thought we were coming to see God. Where is He?  

While waiting for Gabriel’s reply a sensation of extreme excitement came over us. I sensed God approaching, when the quote, ‘Ask and you shall receive’ instantly came to my mind. If a spirit can fall on its face that’s exactly what my companion and I did.

“Oh, Lord! We are your humble servants.” We sang in unison, the faces of our souls turned downward to avoid the blinding light of His presence.

God said, “I have called you here to help us prepare Jesus the Savior to become human. Since all of My chosen people Israel are captive in Hades, I decided to bring you aspiring immortals from earth to talk to my precious Word, about embodied life, particularly about being an infant. This will be a most fascinating experience for Us.”

I found out later that at that moment Christ Jesus was being conceived in His mother’s womb.

3. Becoming Human- A New Christmas Story – Part Three of Five

Visiting God before He sends His Son to earth is more thrilling and more illuminating than visiting Santa in the North Pole. As it turned out, it wasn’t for my benefit or even yours, the reader, that my pal and I made this mystical journey. God sent for us.  

“Lord! I am amazed that there is actually something we can do for You that you can’t do for Yourself? You want us to help prepare You to become human! I can’t imagine a more magnificent honor. Where shall we begin?”

The Lord replied, “I am not ignorant about humanity; after all, I made you in My image and likeness. I have loved and guided men and women since the beginning of time. I know about your tendency to self exaltation because you love yourselves as much as I love you; to lying because you want to create a world of your own design, just as I have done, and to unrelenting criticism of others because I am the Judge you want to be also. However, my child-in-training, human self-centeredness perverts My image.

“I have spent these millennia since creating Adam studying humanity. There is enough goodness in people to believe that the perfect model will reunite us. But I wonder how having a body will affect Us? I want to be prepared. I don’t want My Son to depend on His divinity or to be a unique species.”

The Lord continued. “Please tell Me; is there something in particular we must know about being human?”

Dumbstruck and in awe, I asked for a moment to think.

Before saying, “It will be good for you to become an infant first. For all of us to start as infants who strive for knowledge and power was natural. We grew. However, prepare Yourself to shrink. Being entirely dependent and ignorant will be most unnatural, and most difficult. To a lesser degree the elderly experience the kind of loss in aging that you will experience at birth. Consider observing them carefully before you go. Perhaps you will find someone who can show you how to handle the condescension gracefully. When you are an infant rest in the sleep of ignorance.”

I dared to go on. “Lord God, Your humility which is apparent in pursuing this grand Mission will serve you well. As You know, humanity is frail when compared to your omnipotence. I read in the Torah about Your frustration and anger. I hope Your human experience will show you our limitations to help You to deal with humanity with less frustration. Hopefully, there will be no more earth opening up to swallow people, okay?”

I sensed in my spirit, since we had no form to see or be seen during this most unique conversation, that the Lord God was sincerely attentive to my words. An inner strength, new to my spirit, rose up within me. I was sure God had given me some potion to have the capacity for this conversation. This awareness reminded me to tell Him, “Beware of the body. The body can humble, but it can also pervert Your soul in ways you cannot imagine My Lord and God. Master your body. Care for it, but beware when it tries to control your soul. It is very difficult for us humans to master the body. As your vehicle on earth, Your body will have the power to influence you for better or for worse.

“Being human with the divine energy that You have bestowed upon us is a continual struggle towards ascension away from the animal flesh. I have learned how the body can be a parasite eating away at the soul. The mission you are about to undertake is dangerous.”

I sensed a deep contemplation in the silence that followed my transmission of those thoughts to God and so I waited for His reply and so will you, until next week.   

4. Becoming Human – A New Christmas Story- Part Four of Five

To visit God before He sent His Son to earth was to be at the pinnacle of human existence. God wanted me to help Him prepare to become human. I think He was as excited about Christmas morning as a three year old boy. He was finally going to receive His wish.  His present was a baby’s body and a mommy and daddy of His own. Imagine that, God having someone to take care of Him, what a colossal flip!

We were shrouded in silence as God contemplated the dangers ahead. Dangers from the body becoming the task master of the soul, dangers from the limitations and vulnerabilities of the flesh. He was never concerned about illness, but rather about being constrained.  I think when Christ walked on water and multiplied fishes and bread, and when He was illuminated on Mt. Tabor, He felt fully alive because He was allowed to break-out, albeit temporarily. By then He was older and accustomed to His body. By then, He had become so frustrated by the weakness He saw in others, in His disciples, in everyone around Him that He pleaded for permission to show the powers mankind was created to embody.

But I have careened too far into the future. None of that has yet occurred. This was the moment when God contemplated the discomforts of infancy, of not being able to help His mother. Indeed of being a burden to her as she travelled on a donkey’s ass to Bethlehem. Some things couldn’t be helped.

In that silence I thought about how awful it would be for God to be at the mercy of foolish secular and religious political powers. To observe humankind in all of our contrivances to own and to shine, to rule others and to struggle for food and shelter, moments of peace and calm, yes to observe us in our daily activities of life is one thing, but to enter the fray will be brand new.

What could I say to prepare Him for this journey, for His mission of mercy?

“Lord?” I said to break the thought-filled silence between us.

“Yes, My child, what do you want?” God replied.

“Let me tell you the very best thing about having a body. HUGS!! Oh God, hugs are wonderful! I hope you get plenty of them!”

I saw in my spirit a big grin growing on God’s shining Spirit face.

So I went on, “and dancing, and running, and the sounds of music and singing. Oh Lord, the joys of human flesh must outweigh the suffering of all the human constraints. And FOOD, oh Lord you will absolutely love eating! All five senses that you gave humanity are filled with wonders anew, delights unimaginable! Be prepared for pleasure Lord! Joy you know, but pleasure will be new to you. It will be hard to leave this flesh of Yours when the time comes.”

To show me how silly and maybe even worthless I could be to Him, God gave me a spirit hug that was greater than any arm-ful hug I had ever received. God’s hug had all of the elements of a good hug, the warmth of heart, the giving of self, the hearty squeeze but without arms? Fancy that?

“I must send you back now.” He added to the hug. “Thank you my dears, even you, the little silent one. I know you have been there all along.” The time is coming for my Son’s birth. Go back into your bubble before it’s too late to enjoy Our birthday. I love you.”

Climbing back into my bubble tears welled up within me as I wondered if I had been any help at all. I would never know. How could such a glorious moment end? It felt as if the sun had vanished.

“Do I hear you crying pal? Come closer. I think the best is yet to come. Bubble, let’s go home quickly; it’s almost Christmas!”

5. Becoming Human – A New Christmas Story – Part Five of Five

Some people think their cars are alive because they seem to have wills of their own. I don’t believe that. Cars are metal machines. No will. No brain. Just metal. If they are quirky it is because the world is quirky. But this bubble of ours is a different story entirely. It took off like a bat out of hell. My pal and I thought it was pretty clever of the bubble to ride on those prayers to God, but we wondered how we would find our way to Bethlehem. Bubble, pal, and I left the place of light and are now racing through pitch black skies.

“Do you suppose that planet over there is ours, or is that a moon?” My pal was starting to perk up.

“How should I know?” I snapped, a little nervous about our trajectory and the speed. It soon became evident that we must be headed to earth as the planet was growing larger and larger before our eyes. Suddenly, I felt a jab that I thought would punch my lungs out. OUCH!!!

“Look over there! That star is heading straight here! Oh-my-God I think it is going to crash right into us!”

As I turned my head, I saw a spit of light coming closer and closer and then just as I thought we were going to explode, it scooped up our bubble and we were riding on top of it! The closer we got, the slower we went until the earth was right beneath us, so close that it seemed that we would soon land.  

“Look back there.” I said. “Are those three men following us?”

“I know who they are! Oh this is getting so exciting!” blurted out my bubble pal.

“Getting exciting?” I replied, “Where have you been? We just saw God!”

Sure enough, we were being followed. Even when the sun rose, the three men could see us. This was no ordinary star, I thought. Who can see a star in the daytime; and how can a star point to such a specific place?

The monotony of the trek was broken by a visit to Herod who I overheard grilling those poor naïve men. I was glad to be invisible. Herod was scary.  Finally we started to move again. By nightfall the wise men decided to pitch camp. When we were sure our fellow travelers were sleeping, I gave the bubble a pop and pal and I fell out and materialized. It felt so good to stretch.  

By noontime the next day the men noticed that we were following them for they were not only wise but perceptive! They stopped us to ask where we were going and when we confessed that we too were travelling to see the birth of the newborn king, the short one asked, “We have brought gold, and frankincense and myrrh, what have you for the infant?” 

Pal and I look at each other.

Fortunately, it was then that another wise man announced that the star had stopped over a nearby manger. If a dirty old barn could glow, this one surely did. I think it was because of the hundreds of angels all around and about it who were singing, Joy to the World and Glory Hallelujah. I doubt that the three men could see this, but pal and I could because of where we had just come from. It was breathtaking.

 Just at the moment we arrived, Mary was giving birth. It was clear that Eve’s curse had not fallen upon this lovely young lady, because instead of shrieks and howls, common to natural birth-givers, all we heard were the angels singing quietly. That is until we heard the most enchanting sound of all, the melodious chiming of the Son of God using his vocal cords for the first time. I couldn’t tell from the tone whether He was crying or laughing. But the sound of Him brought all five of us to our knees.

Bravely, I peeked into the manger to see no one there but Joseph holding Mary’s hand and a spry rotund midwife whom history has never mentioned, cutting the cord.

I pulled my face back out to announce to my companions, “God just became human!” Then I went over and hugged my pal and we jumped up and down for joy. This was certainly the merriest Christmas of all because we knew for the first time that God had gotten His wish!

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