Aurea was the youngest member of the Angel choir, and this was to be her first visit to the planet Earth. She wasn't at all sure she wanted to go. "I don't think I will be happy around human beings," she said. "I've heard that they say nasty things to each other and fight each other and that they're mean and cross."
"That's only sometimes," said Lunea, who had been in the Angel choir for two years and knew a lot of things about a lot of planets. "Sometimes they can be very nice. Most human beings deep down inside WANT to be good. But they have to work so hard at being good that they don't always do it."
"But it's EASY to be good," protested Aurea. "It is for us," agreed Lunea, "but not for humans. Each human being has a side that wants to be naughty. Being good won't be easy for them till they learn to listen just to the side that wants to be good. Then they'll be more like us."
"I still don't want to go down there," said Aurea. "I'd rather wait till they stop listening to their naughty sides."
"Their naughty sides won't show so much now," Lunea assured her.
"They're usually pretty good around Easter." "Easter?" asked Aurea.
"What's Easter?" "You'll see," said Lunea, who refused to say another word on the subject. And so the Angel choir rehearsed and rehearsed, and finally the day came for the trip to Earth. Aurea still didn't want to go, but there was nothing she could do about it. Lunea told her she had to go, and the choir director himself told her she had to go. The choir director was a mighty angel, indeed, who could be very stern when he had to be, and Aurea knew it would not be a good idea to argue with him.
There were so many, many singers in the Angel choir that, when they reached the Earth's atmosphere, they spread out in all directions around the planet. Aurea and Lunea were with a group that took positions above the ancient city of Jerusalem.
Many things were written in the air around Jerusalem about what had happened there during its long history. Much was written about wars and wicked and powerful people. But much, too, was written about good people who worshipped God and tried to live according to His laws.
Especially, it was written that the mighty Archangel, the Christ, had once lived in that country in the form of a human being and had then entered into the Earth to be the great Spirit of the Earth. It was written that every year since then, Christ had come back into the Earth to give it life, and that every year, in spring, He left the Earth to go home for a while to God the Father.
Because Aurea was an Angel, she could read and understand all those things in a flash and see how they happened.
Aurea, of course, knew about Christ. Every Angel in the solar system knew about this glorious Being, Who was the most powerful One in God's Creation, except God Himself. But she had not known about how He once lived on Earth, or how He entered it and left it each year.
"Then Easter is the time when Christ leaves the Earth. And we are going to sing for Him when He starts His trip home to God," she said eagerly.
Lunea nodded, smiling. "Now aren't you glad you came?" she asked. "I AM glad, I AM!" said Aurea. She had never seen Christ, although she felt the presence of God but had never seen Him. She was getting very excited, but it would be another two days before Christ was ready to leave the Earth, so she had to wait patiently.
Meantime, Aurea looked down upon Jerusalem curiously. The city was full of people from many parts of the Earth, speaking many different languages.
"How do they understand each other?" she wanted to know.
"They don't always," answered Lunea. "That's part of their trouble. When they learn to love each other more, they will understand each other better. That's one thing Christ came to teach them."
Aurea nodded. She had seen it written in the air over Jerusalem.
"Why are the people so sad?" asked Aurea then. Churches were draped in black, and many people seemed to be in mourning.
"They are sad because they remember how Christ was crucified. But they don't understand that, only because this happened, He was able to go into the Earth and give the Earth His life. When they understand better, they will stop being sad and will give more thanks for what He has done for them. Most of them have no idea that He comes back to them every year in this way."
"But how could they not have any idea of that?'' wondered Aurea. Lunea sighed. "Poor human beings. They can't see all the beautiful things that they can touch, and many have a hard time believing what they can't touch or measure or take pictures of. But some human beings are starting to get more sensitive, and to feel things that they can't see. And some are starting to see the beautiful things we see."
All that day and the next, in curiosity and amazement, Aurea continued to look down on Jerusalem. The people were all so different-each one busily bustling about his own affairs. Some went to the holy places very reverently, and others just to look and stare and point at what they saw. Some people seemed not to know or care about Christ at all, but were very busy making money, or buying things with money they already had, or finding nice ways and not-so-nice ways to have fun.
Some, looking stern, were carrying guns--"guarding the pilgrims and the holy places," they said to those who asked.
Aurea shuddered when she saw the guns. "See," she whispered, "I knew they were going to fight each other."
"They're not fighting now," said Lunea soothingly, "and maybe they won't fight. Besides, there are better things to watch. Look over there."
"Over there," was a place called the Garden of Gethsemane. Here, Aurea could see right away, Christ, when still in human form, had spent a lonely night of prayer just before His Crucifixion. A church had been built in that place, and now many people had quietly gathered there together and stood or knelt silently. Each person was praying to God or thinking of Him in his own way.
A beautiful golden light had spread throughout the church and surrounded it- -a light that the people could not see but that Aurea and Lunea and the other Angels could see very well. It seemed to Aurea that, even though each person was thinking his own thoughts, they all were somehow bound together in that light, just as the singers in the Angel choir were bound together when they sang different notes of the same chord.
"Those people don't seem so different from each other any more. Not like the ones in the city do," she said. "They look more like they belong together. They look very beautiful that way, especially with the light shining around them. But I don't suppose they can see that, either."
"No, they can't," said Lunea, "but they feel very close to each other just the same. They feel as though they are REALLY brothers and sisters, and that is the way all human beings are going to feel all the time when they finally learn to live the way Christ taught them to."
Just then, the clarion call of a trumpet sounded through the air. From all sides, members of the Angel choir began to hurry to their places above the city.
"Come on," said Lunea, "that's the summons. We must be going to sing very soon. Hurry!"
Aurea and Lunea were almost the last ones to take their places. The choir director looked at them severely, but his expression became gentle when he saw Aurea's eagerness and excitement.
"You will see a great wonder here today, Aurea," he told her. "It is one of the great wonders of all God's Creation. And you, too, have a part to play. When it comes time for you to sing, sing with all your heart."
"I will," Aurea assured him.
It was Sunday morning, the hour before sunrise, when the choir began to sing. Softly, gently, sweetly, the music wafted above the city, where lights already were on in many dwellings. The stars of the vast heavens were still bright but slowly, as the Angels' soft, sweet music continued, one by one they faded away. Finally only a few, here and there, were left to remind those who looked upon them of the millions of other worlds that exist in the Universe.
There was more activity in Jerusalem than usually takes place in the hour before sunrise. From all parts of the city, people were seen leaving their homes and hotels, all heading in the same direction. Some riding in buses and cars, some walking, some even riding on donkeys, they were gathering together in the Garden of Gethsemane.
Aurea, watching, did not have much time to wonder about this, because something else was happening inside the Earth that the people on Earth didn't seem to notice. A light was ascending from deep within the Earth, approaching ever more closely to the surface and brightening the very ground upon which the city of Jerusalem stood.
The music of the Angel choir grew louder and more powerful as the light came nearer. At the same time, heralded by a fanfare of trumpets, a sublime procession made its way to a place directly in front of the Angel choir.
Aurea was so lost in wonder at the magnificent procession that she almost forgot to sing. There were mighty Archangels, the lords of vast Kingdoms in the Solar System who talked directly with God and were far greater than the Angels with whom Aurea worked and sang every day. There were the resplendent leaders of the Angels, too, who radiated such auras of glorious color--rose, gold, lavender, translucent blue, pale green--that their brilliance was impossible to describe.
These sublime Beings, Aurea knew, were the Great Ones of the Hierarchies, before whom she and her friends among the Angels stood in awe. Now they had come together, radiating such a display of light and color that, Aurea thought, even the Sun could hardly be more bright.
She marveled that the people on Earth could not see the radiance of these great Beings. But, evidently, they could not, for those who were gathered in the Garden of Gethsemane stood looking toward the horizon where the Sun soon was to rise, obviously unaware of the vision displayed directly over their heads.
Then came a moment so stunning that Aurea gasped and, for just an instant, did indeed forget to sing. The fanfare of trumpets became louder and was echoed by other trumpet choruses throughout the heavens. The singers of the Angel choir raised their voices in a mighty, stirring anthem that they had often rehearsed, but that had never before so gloriously resounded through the skies.
And in that very second, the light that had been rising to the surface of the Earth burst forth, and a sublime Being, illumined in white and indescribably resplendent, appeared before them.
With a voice that seemed to contain within itself all the music ever composed, He cried triumphantly, "Consummatum est!"
"It is finished!" Once again Christ had given His Life to the Earth, that all who dwell there may continue to live. Once again He was free to go home, for a little while, to God the Father.
"Consummatum est!" sang the Angel choir, as the Great Ones of the Hierarchies gathered around Him Whom they all worshipped.
The morning sky now was robed, in shades of pink and pale blue, and, slowly, the Sun rose above the horizon. The people in the Garden of Gethsemane, who saw nothing of the illumined white Figure or the Great Ones who surrounded Him, sang a mighty anthem of their own. "He is risen! He is risen!" Even though they did not see the glories around them, Aurea could tell that they, too, felt the joy and triumph of this glad moment.
Later--much later--Aurea and Lunea were on their way home. The great moment of triumph was over, but the exaltation felt by all who had shared in it would last for a long time.
The sublime Christ, surrounded by the other Great Ones, has passed directly in front of the Angel choir, offering them His thanks for their greeting and His boundless love. Aurea was enfolded in a warm sweetness such as she had never known before. She could not talk, she could not sing. She could only look at Him and, in return, silently offer Him all the love she held in her own heart.
Aurea was very quiet on the trip home. Lunea, who only two years before had herself seen Christ for the first time, understood how Aurea felt and said nothing to disturb her.
Finally Aurea sighed. "It was so beautiful. I wish--I wish--," she faltered and said no more.
"What do you wish?" Lunea asked gently. Aurea sighed again. "I wish that the human beings could have seen Him too. If they could only see Him once, I just know they would never fight or be mean again."
Lunea nodded, "That's true," she said. "But nobody who is not worthy to begin with can see Christ. The day is coming when all human beings WILL see Him, though. And when that day comes, He will not have to go inside the Earth any more. Then He will live with the people as their King, and there will be peace and much love in that Kingdom."
From far out in space, Aurea and Lunea looked back on planet Earth. It was small and lovely, and surrounded with a light that most earthlings knew nothing about.
"It is a good place, after all," said Aurea, smiling. "I'm very glad we went."