I have this idea for a time travel Christmas story. It is still in the concept formation stages, but I have an opening I’d like to share with you …. Gabriel, the lead character, is obsessed with going back in time to see Christ’s birth in person. When he finally makes it, he discovers something that shatters his faith at first, but over the course of the story regains it with a deeper understanding of God and the Universe.
After much deliberation, calculation and sweat, some sleepless nights and long days, Gabriel pinpointed the exact time of Christ’s birth. He wasn’t a theologian, nor a historian. He was a physicist, but in his spare time he dabbled in history, astronomy and time travel.
You could say it all started one Sunday in May around a year ago. However, as it is with most things, it really started when Gabriel was much, much younger, when he was but five years old.
Gabriel attended the midnight mass with his parents, like he did every year — although he couldn’t remember doing so. Since he lived in a small community, everyone knew everyone else and it was a community tradition to have a reenactment of Christ’s birth during the midnight mass at St. Mary’s.
A woman, dressed in a blue shawl, placed a baby in the crib on the alter. This year was special. The community had a newborn child to play the important role instead of the usual doll.
The baby cooed.
“Who is the baby?”
“He is the son of God born to man.”
“Is he like God then?”
She smiled. “No, not quite, but very close.”
The baby began to cry.
“Why is he crying?”
“Because coming into this world can be quite a shock.”
“Then he wants to go back?”
“No, he came to save all of humankind.”
“Even you. Now hush, and listen to the sermon.”