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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 – Advanced)
Topic: Christmas (04/25/05)

TITLE: "Once Upon a Time..."
By Linda Watson Owen


“Once upon a time….” The very dearest stories in mankind’s history start with that phrase. They are the stories that pull us into the circle of humanity. They are the stories that catapult us into the fantastic future, the brooding past, and the ever present. There is, however, actually only one story. Yes, only one. It can begin with “Once upon a time,” but more truthfully, it begins with “Once upon an eternity….”

This one and only story is the diamond in the center of the Bible. It glitters and glistens in vibrant contrast to the dark velvet of all of the ages past and all ages to come. There in the splendor of its glory shines the true gem of mankind’s reason for being. It is the story of God’s greatest gift to His creation, the story of the Great I Am becoming one of us so we might once more belong to Him.

The baby Jesus stands as the paradox of all eternity. Incredible as it may seem, the Lord and Master of the Universe chose to condense Himself into the form of the weakest of all His creation, a totally vulnerable human baby. Jesus was born to pay the price so that humankind could be reborn, could be reconnected with the God who made us. Instead of eternal death for all people for all of eternity, eternal Life was now to reign once more.

This simple plot is the stuff of stories. It is the theme of all stories. Our great Creator chose to weave into the fiber of our beings a profound yearning to hear and to tell the uncontested greatest story of all. The lost one is loved, found, and redeemed. Every story mankind’s archives rings with this theme song…loved, lost, found, redeemed. From the most ancient cultures to the most recent, the story is the same; loved, lost, found, redeemed. The myths of Greece rehearse it. The tales of the natives tell it. The parodies of the present day play with it, but the story is the same. The lost is found.

Yes, I hear you say, “But what about the tragic stories where the lost is not found, or not redeemed?” Look more closely, reader. For even the ‘unfinished’ stories whisper it. The yearning to be loved and found is there. Like Lot’s wife, Euridice chooses to look back, and is lost to the underworld in spite of Orpheus’ yearning to redeem her. Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth chooses to rebel, and without confession she is lost never to be found, driven mad in her need for cleansing. All the stories of mankind shout or echo this greatest theme, God’s theme.

This Christmas as you hear the many stories, listen for God’s story. You will hear His Voice in unexpected places telling you of His great love. His love searches, finds, and redeems. Maybe this (once upon a) time the story is especially for you. Can you hear His Voice calling your name? Choose to be found. You are already loved.

“But when the time arrived that was set by God the Father, God sent his Son, born among us of a woman, born under the conditions of the law so that he might redeem those of us who have been kidnapped by the law. Thus we have been set free to experience our rightful heritage. (Galations 4:4, and 5 The Message)

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Member Comments
Member Date
Sally Hanan05/02/05
Great writing. It rises and flows with each breath and sets the panoramic view and ageless of redemption.
Phyllis Inniss05/04/05
This is an article worth keeping. It encapsulates so many areas of man's history and directs our mind always to the Creator.
Maxx .05/05/05
This is really neat ... what a profound entry. Thanks for making me think!
Val Clark05/08/05
This is a great story. My favourite in the challenge so far. I love the way you can say so much in so few words lie: They are the stories that catapult us into the fantastic future, the brooding past, and the ever present. Wow, and thanks so much for labouring over this!