His wife and kids had already gone to bed. Ralph decided to stay up a little longer and contemplate the day’s activities. As he scanned all the unopened presents on the floor, he thought to himself that in a few weeks or days the joy and pleasure of these gifts would wear off. He wondered if there was a gift that could bring unending happiness.
Suddenly there was a powerful burst of light in the room and a beautiful angel appeared.
“Do not be frightened,” said the angelic being with a most loving and melodious voice. “The Lord God has sent me on His Birthday to show you the greatest Christmas gift of all.”
Ralph was put to ease by the heavenly warmth that he felt from her glow and was certainly impressed that she knew his secret thoughts.
The angel lifted up her arm and said, “Take my hand. The gift I am talking about is kept in a special place. That place is deep inside your heart and mind.”
Ralph grabbed hold of her hand and he was instantly transported into a miraculous world. This world represented his inner reality. He recognized all the things in this world as forms representing all his intentions and motives—which were mixed. Some of these intentions were contradictory. There seemed to be no order or organization to these various feelings and thoughts. In the distance, across something that looked like a river, he also noticed another world.
The angel observed where Ralph’s attention was focused and said, “Humans have an interior and exterior mind. The land on the other side of the river represents your exterior mind containing ideas and data collected in your life’s memory. From this land of memory-data, you make your choice of the ideas and feelings you want to make known to the outside world. But you actually make this choice from where we are now both standing—a more interior level of your heart and mind. Here is where you chose between God and the values of the world.
“But what does this all have to do with a Christmas gift that would give unending joy?” asked Ralph.
“I have taken you to an interior place in your mind, where few people go,” smiled the angel. She continued, “Think of God,” then she pointed to something behind Ralph. “Look over there.”
Ralph turned around and saw a beautifully wrapped present decorated with ribbons and designs not found on earth.
“That is God’s gift to you,” said the beautiful angel.
“What is inside the package?” asked Ralph.
“It contains all the innocence, loving feelings and special thoughts you have experienced in your life,” explained the angel. “In heaven we call these things one’s ‘remains’. The Lord stores these special experiences in a safe place until they can serve in the future process of your spiritual rebirth. It is through this gift that God, heaven and angels can find an abode in the human mind and keep goodness alive.”
“Can I open it?” asked Ralph excitedly.
The angel looked upwards for a sign. Then she nodded her head indicating the answer was “yes.”
Ralph hurriedly opened God’s present and found that inside, it contained an image of the baby Jesus in the manger. Ralph noticed that this manger was not only surrounded by other angels, he also recognized other heavenly forms emanating from this holy sphere that represented his most tender childhood experiences of innocence—just as the angel had said.
“What is the manger doing in here?” questioned Ralph.
“This gift is your remains,” replied the angel. It is a special place where the Lord is not born outside you, but born in your heart. Think of it as a Second Advent or Second Coming. True Spiritual development is the process of the Lord’s heavenly influence growing and maturing in your heart. How else would you become angelic? It is from this gift that the Lord and we angels can defend you from attack.”
“Attack? Attack from what?” quipped Ralph in somewhat disbelief.
“From yourself,” said the angel. “When you are ready for spiritual evolution and rebirth, you will be attacked by your own compulsions and negative thoughts that also occupy this deep place of your psyche. Spirits in Hell use these hurtful influences to fight and keep you as you are. In fact, here they come now!”
Ralph looked ahead and saw various harmful intentions emerging from the dark caves of his inner world like unsightly banshees.
“You must now decide if you want God’s gift and be uplifted towards heaven, or want to look below yourself towards the vanities and allurements of the world. What you love will determine where you turn your attention,” said the angel now with a stern expression.
“After you resist, defeat and subjugate these negative influences that have been hiding deep inside you, you must next cross over that river to your corporeal mind so that the good face you show to the world will be sincere,” continued the serious angel. “This spiritual combat will reorganize your whole inner and outer reality to reflect true spiritual conscience. If you succeed, you will have the gift of eternal happiness.”
Suddenly, the angel returned Ralph to his earthly dining room. “You have your whole lifetime to engage in this spiritual warfare,” said the angel in an attempt to offer Ralph some comfort. “I wanted to show you what you are up against so that you have no false illusions concerning salvation. This spiritual combat over your heart and mind is the transformative event of cosmic eschatology called the Apocalypse.”
“Gee, most religions treat salvation differently. You have demonstrated to me that I cannot open God’s greatest gift unless I become willing to make some unflattering observations about my inner world,” remarked Ralph.
“You wished you could learn of a gift that would bring happiness to your life in a way that would have a lasting and eternal affect. Well, I have shown it to you.”
Noticing that Ralph looked perplexed by these unique revelations, the angel continued. “A person does not go to heaven. A person must become a heaven. The Lord’s birth on earth and the deeper spiritual meaning of Christmas has to do with His precious gift to help you and everyone else change the quality of your inner world in order to make it a true reflection of heaven,” said the angel as she slowly disappeared from the room.