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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Anniversary (04/11/05)

TITLE: The Celebration
By Delores Baber


The Celebration

Competition in heaven?! Not usually, but there was nothing “usual” about this! In timeless past the angels had heard rumors. Then the day came when the rumors were confirmed. The word echoed through the celestial halls.

“So it’s true?! It’s really going to happen?!”

It all started when He returned. What rejoicing! He had left them for nearly 34 years (as time is measured on earth.)

But there were dark times before He had returned. The hardest time had been when they had to fold their wings and do nothing as the Beloved suffered in agony. Who could have had such an evil mind as to take a thing of beauty that had been created by the Divine One and to turn it into an instrument of humiliation and torture? The whole saga had started with a tree that brought the knowledge of sin into the world. But this! This tree shamefully held the Lord of Glory! Naked, bleeding, marred.

How they had shuddered when the skies had turned black at Noon. In the impenetrable darkness they knew He continued to suffer, alone. When they thought of all the times the Father had sent them to deliver so many of the sons and daughters of Adam it seemed so illogical that they had been ordered to stand aside and do nothing, unless He specifically called for their aid.

They yearned to hear His voice, but no such request was uttered. And then the final cry echoes through their very beings.

“And Jesus cried with a loud voice and gave up the ghost.” Mark 15:37 KJV

Heaven wept.

But now He had returned! Such rejoicing! Then the commission was given to the Holy Spirit. He was instructed to not only return to the Earth but not to return to heaven until He could bring the “Bride” with Him.

The Bride? Did he say there was to be a “bride”? Then the mystery was revealed. If he’s bringing a Bride then there must be a wedding in the future. Then they learned who the “Groom” was. John the Baptist gave it away when he announced that he was going to be the Best man.

That’s when the competition began.

Every member of the angelic host wanted to be in charge of the wedding plans and, of course, the reception. It was to be a great feast. This great one time event must be glorious, worthy of the couple. Their love and worship of the Bridegroom motivated each to seek to be in charge of the ceremony.

One of the angels was Arthur. But what chance did he have? There were high ranking angels competing, including Michael and Gabriel, arch angels! But Arthur had such a longing he could not bear to be left out. His yearning brought him before the throng of the Holy One. Filled with reverence and fearsome awe, Arthur was speechless.

The Holy One looked deep into Arthur’s heart and saw the love and holy desire that resided there. Seeing the adoration within Arthur for the Beloved One, He spoke.

“Arthur, you know that the heavenly hosts are eager to have a part in the ceremony. It’s a great one-time event. But weddings are followed by anniversaries. The longer the marriage the more anniversaries take place. And this marriage is to be eternal.
I am going to give you a special assignment.” Then the Holy One reached down and touched the heart of Arthur.

He swooned, overpowered by the glorious touch.

When he came to there were angels circling him, all staring in awe at Arthur’s chest. What just happened, he wondered?

Then he looked down to the spot there the Divine touch has taken place and there shown a jewel of great beauty and in it was written in angelic language these words, translated for you:

“Arthur, the Heavenly Anniversary Planner.”

He swooned again, but oh, the smile on his face was beyond words.

And you, my reader, do you plan to be at the wedding? I hope to see you there. And at all the anniversaries to follow.

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Member Comments
Member Date
Lynne Gaunt04/19/05
Interesting take on this topic. I wonder if it might have been more effective if the whole story were as light-hearted as the last half. Starting the story with dramatic, heavy, true events and then switching to the fictional, entertaining part so abruptly threw me for a loop, but maybe that's just me. I did enjoy it - thanks for sharing your work.
Deborah Porter 04/25/05
Hi Delores. Once again, I just want to take a moment to encourage you and let you know that The Celebration made it into the semi-finals for the Anniversary Challenge. It was a very close competition and everyone who made it into the semi-finals deserves to be congratulated. So keep writing and entering the challenge. With two weeks in a row in the semi-finals, you are going well. With love, Deb (Challenge Coordinator)
Crista Darr05/02/05
It started with the tree and on the tree He said, "It is finished." Wow. I never thought about that parallel before. This is a creative story Delores! I'll see you there. Crista