Once upon a time God created the world with a word. He traced the trail electrons would orbit. He bound atoms together with His mighty power. Land rose from the sea on His command. Man gained breath from God’s own mouth. He holds the world in His hands, and it is He that sustains it.
Once upon a time a goat gave birth in the field. God gave her the hot air she breathed in and out and pushed. God created the atoms of the tissues of the muscles that had carried the baby around for months. This moment was the perfect place, at the perfect time, for the kid to be born, because it was the time that God had chosen. He gave strength to the legs of the baby goat as it took it’s first wobbling steps. It would be generations before humans came here, no one would ever know this baby goat existed, but God knew.
Once upon a time everyone was wicked. Everyone rejoiced at evil, and scorned righteousness. Even the best, the Abrahams, the Moses, the Davids, were so dark it was a wonder they could see the light at all. Justice would be dealt, and it’s impact would burn and scorch, and no one would be spared. They knew the punishment yes, but that was far off, and now darkness swirled around them, whispered in their ear, and let them down the path that was broad and easy.
Once upon a time God mourned that His handcrafted creation had rebelled, and were determined to set themselves on fire.
Once upon a time a boy was born in a manger. He cried and needed a diaper change. His mother wrapped him in her arms and rocked him to sleep. When he got older he had to do chores he’d rather not do. He had siblings that bickered and laughed and knew how to annoy him. His father taught him how to mold wood and make it the shapes you want, and what this tool does and this is how you hold it and I’ll show you how to use that once when you are older. He came home with splinters in his hands and a tired smile on his face.
Once upon a time Word became Flesh, and dwelt among us.
Once upon a time the boy saw someone get crucified. The man gasped and cried and begged for death. Something stirred in the boy’s chest. People gawked and jeered at the man. His mother hurried him away, and wouldn’t tell him why the man was up there. The boy found out why from one of his friends anyways, and learned that only the Very Worst kind of People died on a Cross.
Once upon a time the boy became a man, and saw more crucifixions. Every time, something stirred in his chest, and whispered in his ear, “This is how you will die.” And he knew that the pain wouldn’t even be the worst part.
Once upon a time the man left home, and traveled around the country. He taught kindness and love, and performed miracles, for He was God, and was the One who gave life to breath, and held the world together with His power. People gawked and jeered, and He prayed for their salvation.
Once upon a time God became Man, and lived to die.
Once upon a time the Man woke up, and knew He was going to die today. He could leave if He wanted to. It would be easier, and it would be Just. But sometimes love isn’t fair, and so the man was lifted up onto the cross, where only the Very Worst kind of People go, because he was the Very Best Person, and he was going to be treated as the Worst.
Once upon a time the Man hung for six hours. His friends had betrayed him, he was in horrible pain, and his Father, who had been with Him always, who had comforted and encouraged, was gone. But that wasn’t even the worst part. The Man was punished for the sins of thousands. God demanded justice, and the man, who had only ever been sinless, was punished on the behalf of others.
Once upon a time God came, and died on the Cross, where only the Very Worst kind of People go, because He was the Very Best Man. He did it because He loved us, not because He was lonely, or needed us, or had to, but because He wanted to.
Once upon a time Light shown in the Darkness and Darkness will not overcome it.