It was cold that evening in December but if there had been a thermometer, it would not have been the cold in degrees as we know today. Rather, it was a chill that was thick in the air, a sadness that had enveloped everything. The angels walked about with no cheer, so out of character, their beautiful faces crestfallen and wings drooping. And there was a group of the wisest looking men that sat together, speaking in words solemn that came out of mouths that knew not exactly what to say. The golden streets seemed to have lost their sheen for they lay dull and the bubbling brooks could not flow merrily for everyone was sad. In the big throne sat the saddest of them all, with a countenance that seemed to wish there was some other way things could have been done.
The scene became animated with the appearance of the gentlest of creatures who walked with steps that knew he was leaving soon. His face held a glory unsurpassed by anything a human head could imagine and that glory in an instant drew all about him towards the warm heart he bore inside. Walking straight to the big throne, he appeared to console the greatest of the great. The love between them was impossible to miss. And to the men who were sitting, he gave a smile that seemed to take away the guilt they obviously bore.
For this was Christmas Eve in heaven. And it had come to pass that the light that brings the place alive was bidding them all goodbye. Not because he wanted to go but because he knew he had to. The world below did not yet know that it was soon to play host to the prince of glory, did not know it needed him and would have cared little even if they had known. This was known to him on the throne although the wise-looking men felt they had not done enough during their time on the earth. All they could say to each other, repeatedly, was that they had tried, but each of them felt they might have tried harder. But the Glory on the throne and the brightest star in heaven knew this was not so. That this was to come to pass although everyone wished it were not so.
As he walked about, all eyes followed him. It was a scene that would bring a tear to one’s eye with no words spoken, for every eye was misty and tears flowed freely. The eyes that followed this prince were eyes that said they would gladly change places with him had there been a way to do so. They could not think of tomorrow when he would no longer be there with them; or of the years when he would live like every other mortal soul on earth. And everyone knew there would be pain, suffering and rejection where he was going and they knew he would not deserve any of that.
Yet the glorious man walked, his face showing none of what was seen all about him. The chill had given way to a sad warmth, lighting a fire that would soon go out, the last embers fighting to live for fear of not doing enough for those who needed it so. And when he had passed, he went and wept alone. No man, however glorious, would choose to do what he was about to, even with the knowledge that he needed to. Yet it was love that gave him strength, it was love that could not see a world dying without knowing there was a way.
It was love that brought tears in heaven that first Christmas Eve.