This is how I imagine one of the ways Christmas may have started.
I imagine Jesus in heaven. He spends his days hanging with David, Joshua, Elijah, Joseph, Melchizedek and the rest of the crew. They have good times. Retelling their stories. At least everyone does.
And Jesus asks to hear them again and again. He never seems to tire of hearing about David’s exploits. About how Moses saw the burning bush and eventually lead the people of Israel out of Egypt. Or how Samson tore the lion apart with his bare hands.
These meetings are the highlight of Jesus’ day. Once a day they would all gather to just hang and tell Jesus their stories.
Not that he didn’t already know.
Other times Jesus walks with His Father around their Kingdom. They have very deep conversations about the inhabitants of heaven. How happy they are to have so many saints there.
At some moment in time, a saint on earth will have succomb to persecution and the Father would receive him into his arms. Other times a little baby dying at birth would arrive on Jesus’ shoulder and he would cuddle her. Speaking gently and lovingly to her. Then he would take her to Sarah. Who would comfort the child as if she was her own.
Other times His Father would get serious. Especially when they would pass by great areas of riches. Of gardens and meadows. Places unoccupied. Vast empty spaces void of people.
His Father would be sad. Because he knew that many were still missing from heaven. They were on earth not knowing how much He loved them. Others were there striving for those who were lost. Sometimes he would weep over the atheist whom said there was no God. Jesus would embrace his Father feeling the same longing and pain his father felt.
On this particular day Jesus was in the middle of the story of Jonah. They were all laughing at how Jonah thought he could hide from God. Jonah was retelling his story yet again. And the others would poke fun at him especially about when the storm came up on the ship.
At that very moment Jesus looked up. His Father was standing at the door. He felt strange. He had never seen this look upon His father’s face before.
“Father?” He inquired.
His Father beckon for him to leave his friends and go with him. He followed ever so willingly and lovingiy.
He repeated his previously unanswered question. “Father?”
His father held up his hand as if to silence him. But Jesus knew better.
His Father began to speak:
“It is so wonderful having all of them here, Isn’t it? David and Abraham. Elijah and Jacob”.
“Yes Father, it is”. Then Jesus began to get excited as he attempted to tell his father yet one more juicy nugget from his daily gatherings.
But his father’s hand went up again.
“I have prepared this place for our people. That they would have rest. That they would no longer suffer and toil. And, I swore I would never destroy earth like I did with the flood”.
God paused. Jesus knew not to interrupt him.
“This place is so beautiful. So peaceful. But all of my children are not here. There are those who don’t want anything to do with me. Then there are those who are suffering for my sake. Still there are those who want to commune with me but don’t know how”.
“Yes Father.” Jesus replied knowingly.
His Father turned to him. With tears in his eyes and said. “Son. It’s time”.
Jesus trembled inside. Knowing what lies ahead. Not from fear. But from immediately seeing the scene that was about to unfold in front of him in just about 34 years.
“Bring my people back to me, Son. Now remember some of them will hate you. Even your very own will deny you and turn their backs on you. You will be falsely accused and then murdered. But you will give willingly and unconditionally. You will not fight back. You will repay evil with my love. You will, without hesitation lay down your life”.
“Son, this place is too empty. Even though a lot of our friends are here. I’m still lonely. Because my people are still on earth in misery. Their sins are ever before me”.
“Son. Go now. And remember I will be here waiting for you when you get back”.
Jesus looked earnestly into his Father’s eyes. And at that very moment the Virgin Mary conceived.