Science fiction? NOT a fan. I suffered through Fahrenheit 451 as required reading in school and believe it barely passes as a literary genre. However, I recently suspended judgement and tapped into a hereto unknown portion of my brain that is fond of pocket universes, gamma rays, and UFOs. Following is a brief yet poignant tale of alien Sork's visit to earth on December 12, 2012:
Sork learns that there is an annual celebration on earth that is out of this world (cheesy, I know). Planetary tourism is Sork's favorite past time, so he hops in his Model #X7Ui5 spaceship, sets his GPS for New York City, and takes off. As he nears the earth and hovers over our American landscape, he is overwhelmed at what look like stars--a twinkling, dazzling display of millions and millions of tiny lights in every color and size imaginable. "Could this have anything to do with who or what the Americans are celebrating?" Sork wonders.
His GPS is imprecise once he leaves his galaxy, so Sork lands in the Hobby Lobby parking lot in Carrollton, Texas instead of the Big Apple. Good enough. He is thrilled when his six eyes peer inside Hobby Lobby and see thousands of lights similar to those he observed after entering the atmosphere.
Sork walks inside and is immediately nauseated by the smell. (Sork has gotten a blended whiff of cinnamon, wintergreen forest, nutmeg, and peppermint scented candles). Sensory overload strikes when as he is affronted by the lights, the indoor trees, and bright, sparkly, shiny stuff. Sork spots a sign that says "Christmas decorations," according to his interplanetary translator machine. "Maybe these earthlings are celebrating something called Christmas!" imagines Sork.
Sork gingerly takes a step onto one aisle, and then another step. His trains all six eyes on the store's wares, and sees an assortment of unfamiliar items--ornaments by the thousands in every shape, size, and color, stockings, stickers, muffin liners, flower bouquets, itty bitty to extra large gift bags, bows in a wide spectrum of colors, elves, holiday wrapping paper, strands of beads, and ceramic bowls. Each row seems to feature more glitz and glamour than before. A curious tag with tiny writing appears on most items. He holds his trusty translator to read what it says: "Made in China." "Hmmmm. This could be a clue!" thinks Sork.
Sork notices an odd image on much of the merchandise--an old man sporting a bright red suit. He has a shock of white hair, a long beard, and an easy smile. Sometimes he holds gifts in his hands, other times he is being dragged through the universe by some odd-looking earth animals. "Is this a superhuman, a god, or a chrononaut (time traveller)? Perhaps HE is the one everybody is excited about !" enthuses Sork.
Sork realizes his life might be in danger when harried shoppers almost step on him, not even noticing there is an alien in their midst (Sork is quite short). He wants to ask these frenzied earthlings who or what they are shopping for. But alas, they are too busy stuffing their carts full of plastic and cardboard, glitter and bling, trim and sequins.
He leaves the store dazed and disoriented, but decides to bounce over to the next shopping center and peek inside a few more stores. Through his translating machine, he could hear shoppers reassure each other, "if you can't find "it" at Hobby Lobby, you can find "it" at Joann, Michaels, and Garden Ridge. Sork hopes these stores will be different, offering insight into the "it" that inspires unabashed spending and slavish devotion.
However, he finds the same displays, merchandise, crazed shoppers, and funny man that he hears some humans call "Santa Claus." On his way out the door, a saleslady asks one of the shoppers, "is there anything I can help you find?" "I'm looking for baby Jesus," the woman replies. The saleslady knits her brow and responds, "I don't think we have anything like that here." Another clue! Who is Jesus, and what might he have to do with Christmas?
Sork is chafed from atmospheric exposure and in dire need of a carbon monoxide smoothie, so he hops in his spaceship. He summons the intergalactic Internet, hoping to find information about Jesus. Service is slow, especially 3.7 zillion miles from his home planet. He hates his Internet provider, but is under contract for another three eons. He rubs some crystallized lotion into his scales until at last, Alienopedia appears on his screen. First entry:
Jesus: King of Kings, Lord of Lords, Wonderful Counselor, Good Shepherd, Servant, Redeemer, Savior, High Priest, Deliverer, The Vine, Holy, Light of the World...Whatthewhat? "How can Jesus be all these things at once?" Sork wonders. Being an educated alien, Sork surmises Jesus must be a replicant (artificial alien or genetically engineered replica of a human being). He continues reading:
God is the just and gracious Creator of all things (even aliens and their galactic abodes). Earthlings are created by God, but are corrupted by sin. Jesus Christ alone is able to remove sin through his death and resurrection. He took the wrath for earthlings' sins. Humans try and try, but there is nothing they can do to become right with God. Only though faith in God's Son, Jesus, can humans be forgiven and reconciled. The eternal destiny of each earthling depends on their response to Jesus.
Sork ponders what he has read and wonders if Jesus might be God's avatar. He reads on:
Jesus is fully God and fully man. He left his heavenly home and came to earth as a baby. This miracle is called the Incarnation. Believers in Jesus celebrate his birth at Christmastime. ""Wow--finally I'm getting somewhere!" Sork declares in his cute little alien voice.
Sork furiously scans for information about when God's son was born. According to Alienopedia, the birth occurred approximately 2012 years ago in a town called Bethlehem. "Maybe Bethlehem in near China, where Christmas decorations are made," Sork muses. There's only one way to find out.
He decides to "regress in space" and see the miracle of the first Christmas himself. In time travel mode, he can move with superluminal speed and arrive in an hour. He sets his GPS to Bethlehem and reads the additional directions: "You will know you are close when you see the giant star. When you land, follow the shepherds weaving through densely populated narrow streets. The smell of animal dung signals your proximity to the target location. Inside, you will find a young couple with a baby. THIS is Christ, Emmanuel, who earthlings celebrate at Christmas!
Sork arrives in his spaceship and parks near the camels. In a little room, he finds Mary, Joseph, animals, and a tiny baby. Shepherds are bowed down in worship. Everything is simple--no triangle trees with twinkly lights, stockings, or elves. No glitter, no glitz. The angels hovering over Jesus, however, are lovely and luminescent. Even a foreign alien can't help but stand amazed.
Sork realizes that although this baby appears small and helpless, he is no ordinary earthling. He is the greatest, most magnificent being to ever cross the horizon of the world. He has always existed, and he always will (talk about being everywhere in the time/space continuum!) Jesus is the Savior of mankind, and offers earthlings grace, redemption, and eternal life. Those who believe are his children and will reign with him forever.
Sork slips out of the stable and boards his spaceship for his return trip to a galaxy far, far away. He lights his dilithium fuel tank and astrogates into space. As he orbits the planet earth, Sork gazes one last time at the Christmas lights twinkling below. "Just beautiful," muses Sork. As Sork settles into his into his cushy space chair, he ponders his visits to Hobby Lobby and the stable in Bethlehem. "I'll telepathically synthesize my observations into my intergalactic translator," decides Sork. Sork is surprised to see that in 3.4 milliseconds, a summary of his earthly visit is transcribed into a simple poem:
"Humans on earth are celebrating Jesus' birth. Often the merchandise and bling obscure the simple majesty of their King. But however they choose to celebrate, the earthly arrival of God's son is a special date. For this is when Jesus came down from above, to transform earthlings through his great love." --Sork the Alien