18. Flying to Christmas

I must admit that I wasn't very disappointed that Santa Claus rejected my offer to help him, nor was I sorry to leave the North Pole. Of the many kinds of matter that I have been exposed to on this planet, snow is my least favorite. It confuses me the way it can change shape and melts. It comes and goes, and when it falls from the sky, I can hardly fly. Of all the things I have come to accept about matter, I like its stability best; then there is snow to confound that!

Flying south through a snowstorm, I headed to Bethlehem for the birth day of God as human. Before I met Jesus I thought God's incarnation-project was thoroughly ludicrous. Yet, Jesus makes God appear more friendly and personal, which was shocking at first, but I am getting use to it. Actually, Jesus has also helped me to accept the concept of humanity. These strange beings are shaped like creatures but have the hearts and minds of God. Only God could come up with something as clever and amazing as combining Himself with the characteristics of an animal.

That concept, when He made Adam and Eve in His image and likeness was fantastic enough, but to place His very own genes in a human woman, for God to become born of humankind, is light-years beyond amazing. No words can describe such condescension. Could the sun be concentrated into a pinhead? Could Empress Catherine scrub bathrooms? It is no wonder at all that the Jews have thought Jesus was a blasphemy. I would agree with them if I hadn't known God to be just this creative.

I'll wager that being at the scene of Christ's birth will be as thrilling as sitting on a shooting star. I must make sure that I arrive on time.

Traveling down the spiral of time and around the planet simultaneously takes skill that I still haven't mastered. In fact, these currents are a little too choppy for me, whoa! Look! there is a flock of angels.

"Who are you? And where are you going?" I sent telepathically as they came in range.

The lead angel said, "We are going to attend the conception of the Virgin Mary, wanna join us?"

I replied, "Frankly that sounds a little awkward. Don't you think Joachim and Anna want some privacy? I am not going, but thanks for asking; bye!"

After the angels zipped past me, I managed to hop on a current of air and surfed it across half the Atlantic Ocean, and from 2013 AD Nova Scotia to Gaul in 110 AD. I was having so much fun that I nearly forgot about my mission and my deadlines and flew in circles and then through my circles until the sky became very dark and ominous.

You already know how much I love the darkness. This particular night was pitch black. I settled down to get back on track and adjusted my sonar to locate the manger in Bethlehem 0 AD. I was actually having a little trouble, wondering how I would find the right barn when I looked up to notice an extraordinarily bright, but lonely star. As I was gazing on its brightness I noticed that the star was careening straight towards me!

Angels don't get scared. We have nothing to be afraid of; we aren't afraid of poverty or accidents, we can't get sick or be killed. Life is pretty safe for us. The only thing that matters for us is whether we are angels of God, or those fallen demon angels that are always making trouble.

As I said, angels don't get scared, so as that star came closer, my feelings startled me even more than the ball itself. I couldn't tell if it was going to enter into me or just point the way to Bethlehem. As I look back, I suppose confusion was the source of my fear. This startling situation reawakened me to my mission. I realized that my fun flying had been something of a respite, but also a distraction. I tried to calm down by flying slower, hoping that perhaps my imaginings were in vain and that the star would pass me.

Just as I was preparing myself to succumb to destruction by starlight, suddenly, behind the star there appeared my old friend Gabriel.

"Gabriel, what are you doing! You nearly frightened my wings off!" I exclaimed. "What are you doing with that star?"

"This is not a star, it is more than that. Come with me, I will take you to Bethlehem and show you what this light can do. Besides, I need your help."

With that Gabriel careened ahead of me, and I took off to keep up with him and his super-light.

Our flight was just long enough to give me time to recover from fear. It was a bonus to not have to navigate.

"Look," said Gabriel, "See those men over there," pointing to four very well dressed distinguished looking bearded men deeply immersed in conversation. "Join them and get them to follow this light. Tell them that a great king of the Jews will be born; tell them that you saw his star in the sky."

Being relatively new to earth and humans, I hadn't yet learned how to work with them. As you know I am no guardian angel. Being thrust into this moment was both an honor and a threat. I was accustomed to communicating telepathically with other angels, but angels are receptive, humans seems so oblivious.

I wafted myself near the group of men and looked up at Gabriel for approval and directions.

"Good, now simply say what you want them to think. They will pick it up telepathically. Watch this:"

"Look at that star Balthazar! I have never seen a star so low and so bright, what could it mean?"

Balthazar, a learned astrologer, well trained and experienced was perplexed.

Melchior the elder, a theologian and philosopher said, "What an amazing coincidence. At the last quarter moon I found myself in the presence of the Hebrew scripture. It appears from my reading that a king of the Jews will be born; let us go to Jerusalem to find Him and pay homage to him."

"Let's take him gifts." chimed in Gaspar.

"What should we give to this Jewish king?" added Faisal.

"I have some gold!" Gaspar offered.

"Perfect. What else? Melchior," Balthazar added, "what can you bring?"

"I have a small jar of myrrh. It is very precious, made by my grandfather. I will bring that to the king." Melchior felt proud that he had something of great value to offer.

"Yes, the oil of anointing. Good, bring it."

"Now for me, what can I bring? I know! Frankincense! Gold, frankincense and myrrh, it has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?"

"And you Faisal, what will you offer?"

Faisal looked sullen. "I can't go, my wives would have fits, and there are the twenty children to discipline. You go on without me. I will pray for your safe journey."

Enthused by the thought of a long journey to meet a newborn king, Balthazar was anxious to get started. "Okay, let's get ready. There is no time to waste, we don't know how long the star will wait for us. Faisal, you can be of great help. Here is a bell, if the star moves, follow it. We will go to say good bye to our families and pack for the journey. Keep ringing the bell as loud as you can. When we return, we will find you. Then you may go home to your wives and small army."

As the wise men were dispersing, I looked up at Gabriel and smiled. "That was very impressive Gabe, now what exactly did you need me to do?"