Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The Visited Planet

"What is man, that thou should magnify him? and that thou should set thine heart upon him? What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visiteth him?" (Job 7:17 and Psalm 8:4).

J.B. Phillips, in The Visited Planet, tells the Christmas story from the viewpoint of the angles. In one dramatic scene, a senior angel is showing a very young angel around the splendors of the universe. They view whirling galaxies and blazing suns, and then flit across the infinite distances of space until at last they enter one particular galaxy of 500 billion stars.

As the two of them drew near to the star which we call our sun and to its circling planets, the senior angel pointed to a small and rather insignificant sphere turning very slowly on its axis. It looked as dull as a dirty tennis-ball to the little angel, whose mind was filled with the size and glory of all he had already seen.

“I want you to watch that one particularly,” said the senior angel, pointing with his finger.

“Well, it looks very small and rather dirty to me,” said the little angel. “What’s so special about that one?”

The little then angel listened in stunned disbelief as the senior angel told him that this terrestrial ball was, in fact, the renowned Visited Planet.

“Do you mean that our great and glorious Prince...went down in Person to this fifth-rate little ball? Why should He do a thing like that?" the little angel asked, his face wrinkled in disgust. “Do you mean to tell me,” he said, “that He stooped so low as to become one of those creeping, crawling creatures of that floating ball?”

“I do,” said the senior angle. “And I don’t think He would like you to call them ‘creeping, crawling creatures’ in that tone of voice. For, strange as it may seem to us, He loves them. He went down to visit them to lift them up to become like Him.”

The little angel looked blank. Such a thought was almost beyond his comprehension. And the he sighed, "O Lord, make me more and more like You."

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