Eek led his friend back into the house. He stopped under the laundry room door to make sure the lights were still off. They climbed through the walls and ceiling space to the heating ducts. When they got to the place where they could see the nativity, the hot air blew on them from the furnace. Both mice enjoyed the warmth after being outside so long. They shook their fur straight when the wind stopped.
Eek stared at the nativity. “I now know why the angels were so excited to tell the shepherds about Jesus being born. And why the shepherds were so happy to hear that Jesus was going to be a Savior. And why the wisemen came from so far away with expensive presents. And why an angel warned Joseph to take Jesus to Egypt so the mean king couldn’t kill him along with the other boys.”
“Okay, what’s so special about this Jesus that all of that happened and people are still celebrating His birthday like this?” Aagh swished her tail.
“It’s because Joseph isn’t the father.”
“But I thought you said Joseph was the dad and Mary was the mom.”
Eek nodded. “Joseph was the dad.” Then Eek shook his head. “But he wasn’t the father.”
Aagh wiped her paws over her face. “Now I’m totally confused. I thought dad and father was the same thing.”
“Not always. Have you noticed that Tyler looks different from the other people here?”
“Yeah, but I didn’t think much of it because I have brothers and sisters who have darker fur that I do, and we all have the same father and mother.”
“Well, Tyler’s father and mother don’t live here. He was adopted by the dad and mom here, so he’s their son. Amber and the baby are also theirs because they were born to the dad and the mom, so they are the father and mother,” Eek explained. “Does that make sense to you now?”
“The loud man said that babies start living when the sperm from the father goes into the egg from the mother. But when Jesus started out as a baby inside of Mary, God didn’t use the sperm part, He just made Mary’s egg start to grow. Now do you understand?”
“Let me see if I understand what you’re saying here. Mary is Jesus’ mother because she gave birth to Him. She was the mom because she helped to rear Him. Joseph was the dad because he helped to rear Him, but he wasn’t Jesus’ father. Do I have that right?” Aagh scrunched her whiskers back.
Eek nodded. “Yeah, that’s right.”
“Okay, somebody had to be Jesus’ father. Babies don’t just happen. So, who was it, one of the shepherds or one of the wise men?”
“It wasn’t a person at all.” Eek shook his head.
“Now I’m starting to think you keep your brain in your tail and the owl got the part that makes any sense.” Aagh rubbed her paws over her face. “Will you please tell me who the father of Jesus is!”
“God.” Eek stared at her.
“You mean GOD, God?”
“Yeah, there’s only one God.”
“Sure, God can do whatever He wants, but,” Aagh tilted her head, “are you sure about this?”
“Do you remember when I told you people call their babies by a lot of different names before they choose their real name?”
Aagh nodded. “Yeah, I remember that.”
“Well one of Jesus’ names is Immanuel. Do you know what ‘Immanuel’ means?”
“I didn’t know names had meanings.”
“Not always, but sometimes they do. Immanuel means ‘God with us’.”
“Okay, so why would God come to Earth as a little baby, just like the people? Why didn’t He just show up and tell them what He wanted them to know?”
“God can’t just show up because God doesn’t have a body. He’s a spirit. He came in a human body to show the people how much He cared for them.” Eek looked down at the manger scene. “Do you remember how the shepherds got scared when an angel just showed up, and the angel had to say ‘Don’t be afraid’?”
“Yeah, I remember that.”
“Well, if God just showed up people would probably just die right then and there. God doesn’t want to scare people to death. He wants to love them to death. He also wanted to show them how He wanted them to live, how they were meant to live, by being an example to them. He was able to grow up with them to go through what they all did. Except, Jesus never did anything wrong. He never sinned because the devil could never make Him sin, because He was God in a human body.”
Aagh’s eyes got big. “Wow! That must have been something to watch. Just think…God in a human body. I’m sure He never set any traps out to catch mice. What other reason was there for God to come in a human body?”
“Do you remember that the angel told the shepherds a Savior was born in Bethlehem?”
Aagh kick-scratched her ear. “Yeah, I remember the shepherds were happy because people wouldn’t have to keep killing their sheep just because they kept sinning. So, how does Jesus being God in a human body fit into Him being a savior?”
“Jesus wasn’t just a savior, He was THE Savior; the only person qualified to be a complete sacrifice for people’s sins to a perfect God, because He was without any sin.”
“A sacrifice! You mean Jesus had to die, like the sheep did, to pay the price for people’s sins?”
Eek nodded. “That’s right. Jesus was born to die for people’s sins so they can go to Heaven to spend eternity with God. Only God in a human body could be the complete sacrifice that would make an acceptable offer to God to cover their sins. Nothing else could ever do that.”
“So, how did Jesus die? That sounds like an important part of the story.”
Eek held his paws up to his shoulders. “I don’t know that part of the story, yet. That happens after Jesus is all grown up. But I’m sure the people tell that story as much as they tell this part of Jesus’ story.”
“Okay, let me see if I have this right. Jesus was born as God in a human body so He could die so people can be with God when they die. So, now all people go to Heaven when they die, right?”
“Not quite.” Eek shook his head.
Aagh rubbed her paws over her face. “You’re not about to tell me a part of the story that doesn’t make any sense, are you?”
“People have to do only one thing before they can go to Heaven.”
Aagh tilted her head. “And what one thing do they need to do?”
“They need to believe Jesus’s death makes it so they can go to Heaven.”
After waiting a few seconds for Eek to say more Aagh finally said, “That’s it? All they have to do is believe. That doesn’t sound hard. So I would think everybody believes then, right? Wouldn’t they all want to go to Heaven?”
“Apparently most people don’t believe.”
“Now that doesn’t make any sense at all! All people have to do is believe Jesus died for them, but they won’t do it. Why not?” Aagh swished her tail.
Eek shook his fur out. “Remember what I told you about Satan?”
“You mean the bad angel who tries to keep people from being with God?”
Eek nodded. “Yeah, him. Well, apparently he’s got people thinking that you can only believe what you can see.”
“But you can’t see God, or angels, usually. So, I guess you can’t see Satan, either.” She swished her tail. “That just doesn’t seem right that he can trick people like that. I mean, don’t they know they’re made like God; so a part of them lives on after their body dies; and all they have to do is believe Jesus died for them so they can spend eternity with God?”
“All people see is that when someone is alive they can move and talk and stuff. But when they die, they don’t do that anymore. So they put the body in the grave, and they think that’s the end.”
“But people just have to know that deep inside them is something different. That’s why they can sing and read. So, why don’t they read God’s book to them, the Bible? That explains it all, doesn’t it?”
“It sure does.” Eek nodded. “But I think they stay too busy to see how important this all is. They don’t make the time to read the Bible, so they don’t know the importance of it all.”
Aagh’s tail swished faster. “I suppose Satan is the one who keeps people too busy to see the importance of all this.”
“I’m not sure how much of it is Satan, or how much of it is the people doing it to themselves. They see everybody else being too busy, so they make themselves too busy. Either way they miss out on the most important thing to people.”
“They sure do. I know if I was a person I’d believe Jesus died for my sins.”
“So would I.” Eek nodded. “I would rather spend eternity with God than away from Him.”
The two mice stared at the nativity scene, each one replaying the story in their mind. Suddenly, Eek spun around and walked away.
Aagh grabbed his back leg. “Where are you going?”
Eek glanced back. “I just feel like I want to be next to Jesus right now.”
“But, Eek, that’s not the real Jesus down there. That’s just a pretend Jesus, remember?”
Aagh walked next to him. “But what if the people come back? They’ll see you for sure.”
“Don’t worry. I know the people here really love Jesus. You stay here where it’s safe and watch. I’ll be okay.” Eek left his friend and made his way to the top of the bookcase.
When he got to the nativity scene, he stopped and looked at the baby in the manger, then at Mary and Joseph. As he turned and looked at the animals, he found himself wishing he could have been one of the animals in the stable on that oh-so-special night. Even if he was just a little mouse that never got mentioned in the story.
Eek then walked behind the manger and lay down with his head between Mary and Jesus. As he closed his eyes to picture the story in his head, a big smile spread across his face. Just then, the people walked in the house. Eek’s whisker didn’t move, so neither did he.
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