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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Countdown to Christmas/Advent (10/23/08)

TITLE: For the Joy Set Before Him
By Van Burbach


“Son, the time is near. Are you ready?”

“Is there really no other way, Father?”

“No, you know there isn’t.”

“Still, I want to remember what led to this, and why I must go. It will comfort me, as the time approaches, and it will strengthen me for what I must do.”

“Yes, let’s remember together, while we are still together.”

“I remember the first day we began to build a home for them. It was such joyous labor, you and I working side by side. We poured our hearts into what we made, and it was all for them, so they would have a place to live and grow and love.” We made them from the very substance of the world we had made for them, so they would be one with it; and we breathed our own life into them, so they would also be one with us. We longed for someone to share our joy, someone who would be free to respond to our love with love of their own, so that our joy would become their joy. It seems strange, Father, that the freedom we gave them to make joy possible, resulted in pain and sorrow instead.”

“We both knew the risk. They had to be free to love. They had a choice. We hung our very life on a tree as fruit, free for them to take and eat. If they had eaten it, our life, our love, and our joy would have been theirs forever. Instead, they choose a life apart from us, independent, desiring to know for themselves good and evil. But apart from us, there is no life, only death; and no good, only evil. Every attempt they make to choose good turns inevitably to evil. In their struggle to gain what they think is life, they kill each other and themselves. They have nothing, but cling to it as if it were everything.”

“But I still love them, Father! I want to set them free.”

“I know, Son. I love them, too. But, we built a world that was ordered and held together by laws of cause and effect. The effect of evil is death. If we alter that law, the world we built will crumble. If their choices have no consequences, then they don’t really have anything to choose. Without a choice, there is no chance to love. If there is no possibility of love, we loose the very purpose for which we created them.”

“So there must be death before there can be another chance for life.”

“Yes, Son. Someone has to die.”

“But there is another law, Father, the law of sacrifice. One who is innocent can die in the place of one who is guilty, so that the one who is guilty might live.”

“That would be the ultimate act of love.”

“To love them like that, I will have to become one of them. I will have to give up eternity to become finite and mortal. I must live as they live, and suffer as they suffer. I must face all their temptations and fulfill every law, but I must do so as a human being. For the first time in all eternity, I will be separated from you, Father. That will be the hardest thing.”

“I will still be with you, my son, through our Spirit. You will have the same access to me that any man would, without the veil caused by sin.”

“But in the end, I must take their sin on myself; and on that day, you will have to turn your back on me and let me die.”

“I know, Son. It will break my heart, as it will yours; but it will not be the end. The life that comes from such love will destroy the death that comes from sin.”

“Once again, my life will hang on a tree as fruit, free to be taken by those who will choose it. But will they?”

“You will choose death, resulting in life for them. Some will accept it, some will not. You are giving them another chance, but the choice is still theirs.”

“They are my beloved. I will love them, whether they receive it or not, and I will love them to the end, for the joy set before me.”

“You will have joy.”

“My joy will be complete in them.”

“It is time, Son. Are you ready?”

“Yes, Father, I am.”

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This article has been read 373 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Kathy Ludwig10/30/08
Very well done! This gives a lot of food for thought and is written beautifully.

Thank you.
Racheal Chand11/01/08
I have chills. It is amazing the way you brought this together... This was so well written I have nothing to critique.. Great job. I think you will definitely be one of the contenders for this week, atleast I hope so, for this story was the ultimate story of Christmas Countdown, a countdown for freedom.
Janice Fitzpatrick11/05/08
Wow! This surely came from the Holy Spirit. Praise God. I love the dialogue and the intensity and passion between Father and Son and the love our Heavenly Father and Christ haas for man. Check out "I Give My Beloved Son",that's at the end of Beginners, it's similiar to this. It was nice to see the pieces being written in a different perspective. Again great job! God bless your writing. Keep it up! :0))