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"The Third Angel"

An Original Story by Santa Ric Erwin

And the Lord said unto the Third Angel: "Why are you unhappy?"

And the Third Angel said, "Truly I am happy, Lord."

"Why, then, do you seem discontented? Are you disappointed with My decision?"

"No, Lord! Never!"

"Well, then, what is it?"

"Well, it's just that ... oh, never mind .... Forgive me, Lord! Thy will be done, in this, an in all things."

There was a brief moment's silence, and then the Lord quietly told the Third Angel, "You know I'm able to see all the questions within your heart. Why not simply ask them?"

After a much longer silence, the Third Angel replied unto the Creator of All Things, "Remember how You gave my first brother the task of being Guardian Angel to Moses, the foundation on which You built Your Earthly Kingdom, and who became Your Voice unto all mankind, exhorting them of all Your Majesty and Righteousness? And then, You gave my second brother the job of being Guardian Angel to Your Son, Jesus, He that was with You in the Beginning, but Whom You made flesh, that He might dwell among Mankind, teaching them of Your Love and Compassion --- well....."

"Yes?"

"Forgive me, Lord, but I am unworthy of Your blessings!"

"Why would you think this?"

"Well, who exactly IS this Santa Claus, that I should serve as his Guardian Angel?"

The Lord lifted his Third Angel's face up gently and said, "Well, let Me ask you this: Do you remember The Plan, which we came up with for all Mankind after the Serpent crept into the Garden of Eden and ruined everything?"

"Uh huh. You said that Adam and Eve's path back to Eden would be a long, difficult one; and there was in fact no guarantee that they'd ever make it back --- but that if they did, they'd need three things."

"That's right! And do you remember what those three things were?"

"Faith, Hope and Charity, right?"

"Right!" said the Lord. "We knew the day would come when Mankind would pass through some dark, terrible times along the long journey ahead; and that, should they survive this period of chaos and anarchy, they would need to discover the strength and security of My Law. And so, with your first brother's help, Moses brought unto Mankind the spirit of FAITH.

"And then, there came a time when Mankind did discover a cruel, intimidating means to mock My Law, eventually making it all seem to be all about obedience and conformity. So, with your second brother's help, Jesus brought unto Mankind the spirit of HOPE."

By now, the Third Angel was beginning to understand. And his joy was already starting to grow.... and grow.... and grow ....

"And now, the days are coming," said the Lord, "when Mankind will become so numerous that the Earth will become crowded by them. Through their FAITH, there will be churches of every creed and stripe; and then there shall be others who would exercise their freedom of choice, and who would seek out their own personal reationship with Me --- independent of any such group.

"Yet as Time continues to pass, My People will endure war, famine and pestilence aplenty .... and through their HOPE, they shall remember how much I care about them, and that I will always be there to see them through these dark times......

"Still, in this new age of crowded plenty, My People shall find their greatest challenge of them all: when there shall be no grave danger to confront them; nor universal famine, nor raving pestilence. And in that time, when such comfort abounds and their angst would ebb --- only then would they need to learn one final lesson ...... and that is why, with YOUR help, Santa Claus will bring unto Mankind the spirit of CHARITY!

"And from Santa shall they learn the unmitigated joy of giving, without any thought of repayment, nor even recognition! And through Santa, My People will know the thrills to be found in the simple smile of a child .... and the many other truths that one can discover only when the secret needs of others may be fulfilled!

"Think: in Moses, Mankind discovered a symbol of FAITH. Then, in Jesus, Mankind discovered a symbol of HOPE. Now, with Santa Claus, Mankind will discover a symbol that combines the very best of all three --- FAITH, HOPE, AND CHARITY!

"Furthermore, as Santa comes to exemplify all these things to ALL My Peoples, regardless of race, creed, gender, place of birth, that clearly means that Santa Claus will especially need the most help of all. And that is why I have chosen YOU for this important task!"

The Third Angel was silent for just one moment, and then he asked, "Lord, do You think Mankind will ever make it back to the Garden of Eden?"

And the Lord replied, "Well, they will always have their own free will, of course, so there's no way to be really certain. But remember this: Moses taught them that Eden is. Jesus taught them that Eden is their destination. And from Santa Claus, they might discover that the Garden of Eden could be theirs to bring about! So, what do you think, my little Angel?"

And smiling broadly now, the Third Angel said, "I think You're right, of course! Looks like Santa's going to need all the help we can give him! THANK YOU, LORD!"

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