Here is a story written by my Uncle Dave. On Christmas morning, when I was growing up, we would read Luke 2 and then this Christmas story before opening our presents. I always loved it. Enjoy!
THE BEST HEAVEN HAD TO OFFER
By David O. Etheridge
Ring—ring! The telephone rang insistently in the office adorned with a simple sign in gold leaf which read, “Heavenly Bodies.” No, it wasn’t the office of a modeling agency, nor even that of a planetarium or observatory. The telephone was about to jump off the desk of the angel in charge of the celestial personnel office, Main Street, Heaven.
It was the Ancient of Days on the line, and even though all heavenly business is important, Linus, the angel in charge of Heavenly Bodies, sensed a special urgency in the air. There had not been a special event for over four hundred earth years, and while this isn’t long by heavenly reckoning, Linus felt as if it were time for something really dramatic. Not that you can get bored in Heavenly Bodies, mind you, because in addition to coordinating the messages of legions upon legions of angels, there was a growing number of human residents. They too insisted that they had come to the city to work and were eager to get down to business. Even the young residents wanted to help, so they were put to organizing the choir robes, distributing notices, and changing the decorations on the flagpoles in the pitch area. But all of this was routine, and Linus listened intently now as the Ancient of Days outlined His plan.
The fullness of time had come, He explained, for the price of man’s redemption to be paid. Phase One should now be organized. Linus extended a golden slippered foot and closed the door so that the sounds from the choir rehearsal would not distract him—he knew that this was going to be his Big Assignment.
“Excuse me, Sir,” Linus interrupted politely. “I just want to get the big picture as we go along.” The Venerable One indulged him the question. “Well, Sir,” Linus began cautiously, “the City already has a large earth population. What I mean, Sir, if I may ask respectfully, is how have they been granted admittance if the price of their redemption hasn’t yet been paid?”
The King was not impatient, but rather enjoyed the question as well as the answer. “Linus,” He said, “you’re a business angel. You know that the difference between a cash purchase and a credit purchase is the time of payment. The price of the cash purchase is paid at the time of the transaction, while if an item is bought on credit, the price is paid at a future time.”
Linus understood. “They’ve been redeemed on credit,” he said excitedly.
The King continued, “Yes, you know the sacrifices. They were like credit slips which I’ve accepted until the true Lamb of God is given as the perfect payment for all sin.”
Linus was pleased to understand this mystery, which had been the subject of much speculation. With the satisfaction of his newly acquired knowledge, Linus said, “You could say that they have been saved by faith.”
Exactly,” replied the King. Linus knew from the tone of His voice that He was ready to move on to the business at hand.
The plan had four elements. First, a prophet would be needed to bring the good news to the poor. Secondly, a new ruler would have to succeed King David. Then a perfect life would have to be offered as God’s lamb for sin, and fourthly, a priest should make this offering. Linus promised to do his very best. There was no shortage of willing workers, but this job was going to require the best that heaven had to offer! So he rang off, rolled up his sleeves, and went to work.