The messenger stood at the gateway, his long thin form shimmering in heavenly light and angelic excitement. After all the aeons of waiting it was time the messages in his hand were already written on his heart, he had no way of knowing how they would be received, none of them did, but they trusted and they believed without question. His task was simple, he was to deliver a series of messages. For those who would receive them, life would never be the same again. As the Gatekeeper looked to Gabriel to make sure he was ready, the huge golden gate began to appear before them. There had been many times before when this Gate had been opened, but this time was very different, this time the heartbeat of God was going to be heard.
Gabriel prepared himself for the strong gravitational pull that would draw him to the earth once the Gate was opened. He smiled to the Gatekeeper; he was ready. As the large platinum bolt that held the gate in place was eased back, he could sense the presence of the enemy ready to greet him once he began his descent. He steeled himself for the onslaught, it was inevitable, given how much the enemy had resisted and rejected God’s plan for this day over many human centuries. The gate eased open, and there he was, Lucifer, the angel of light, once among God’s closest messengers but now banished from the heavenly realm. Lucifer was beautiful, stunning really, a clear red flame emerging from his powerful wings, his face set in a pose of bewildered confusion, as if to say ‘How could our God have gotten it so wrong?’ But his eyes betrayed him, for even just a glimpse over Gabriel’s shoulder into the kingdom he had been forced from aeons before, reawakened his lust and hunger for power. It was only a moment but it was enough for Gabriel to steel himself for the battle that would follow him over the coming days.
‘Greetings cousin’, it always surprised Gabriel how soft and gentle the voice of evil could sound. ‘So the dreaded day has arrived at last, Oh I know there is nothing now that I can do to prevent it, but dear cousin, are you sure? Are you absolutely sure of the words that you have been given?’ Gabriel nodded warily, so this was the plan, Lucifer would seek to undermine him, make him doubt, try to corrupt the message. He saw it for what it was, a desperate act of a despot king. ‘I am ready, Gabriel replied, his hand moving to the Golden cylinder that hung by silken threads off his shoulder. ‘Good, good’, whispered Lucifer, as the heavenly door closed silently behind them. ‘Of course the original plan has been that I would deliver these messages’, he muttered. Gabriel had not known this, his elevation to herald had come after the fallen were banished. ‘Yes, yes, my role as herald was critical to His plan’ (the ‘His’ was uttered as a sneer) ‘but I knew then what this act of madness would become, I couldn’t do it cousin, I’m surprised that you can’. (The last accompanied by a raised eyebrow). Despite his best intentions Gabriel couldn’t help replying, perhaps a bit too forcefully: ‘I am the servant of Almighty God, I am His herald by calling, not by merit. The heartbeat of God cannot be silenced! Begone Lucifer, begone, in the name of this Holy Child!’
Lucifer shrank at the reference to the coming presence of God in human form, even his stubborn shoulders were bending to bow at a name that was common emough among the sons of Adam, but sent tremors amongst the Heavenly realms, Yeshua; Joshua; Jesus!