Zach figured out the answer to his question.
Zach maneuvered his new remote-control car around the living room—under the Christmas tree, over to the window, between the pile of boxes.
“I wish it were always Christmas!” he said. “These are the neatest presents! The food is yummy. The Christmas tree smells terrific. Why can’t Christmas last forever?”
His sister, Ava, looked up from the new book she was reading. “Then it wouldn’t be special,” she answered. “And besides, nothing is forever—well, nothing except Jesus. Jesus is for always. He’s always been alive and He always will be.”
“How could Jesus have always been? After all, we celebrate His birthday on Christmas, so how could He have always been alive?” Zach asked with a puzzled look.
“Oh, go ask Mom. She can answer your questions. They’re too hard for me!”
Zach steered his car into the kitchen. “Mom,” he said, “how could Jesus have always been alive? Ava said He always has been, but I don’t understand. I thought He was born in Bethlehem at Christmastime.”
His mother put a stack of plates into the cupboard, then turned to Zach. “Do you remember the verses Dad read this morning? They said, ‘In the beginning was the word . . . All things were made by him.’ ‘The Word’ means Jesus. He helped create the world, the animals, the trees, and the people.”
Zach considered that. “Well then, why did He have to be born?”
Mom answered, “Jesus was born to be a boy like you. That way He could know just what you like to do. He knows all about your frustrations. He understands what it feels like to scrape a knee while playing. He knows what it is like to hit a thumb with a hammer.
“But when Jesus grew to be a man,” Mom continued, “He experienced adult things. He knows how Dad feels when he is pressured on the job. He knows how I feel when dinner burns. Jesus even knows what it’s like to die. That’s why He was born—so He could understand us, and He died so we could be saved from our sins.”
Zach’s car screeched around the corner and out of the kitchen. Then he reversed it back into the kitchen. “If Jesus died, then how can He hear us if we pray now?”
“Jesus rose from the dead on Easter. Remember, He visited with His friends, then He went to Heaven,” Mom answered.
“So, Jesus is in Heaven now, right?” asked Zach.
“And He’s going to be alive forever?”
Zach steered his car into the living room, this time following it. He looked at the Christmas tree. He looked at his presents. He looked at the snow outside.
He thought about forever . . .
Last summer he had been enjoying his visit to Grandpa and Grandma’s farm so much. He remembered wishing he could stay there forever. He could slide on haystacks and help Grandpa with his garden. But on second thought, he might have missed his parents.
Last spring he zoomed his bike through the park and down a hill. He had wished he could ride his bike and feel the wind blowing on his face forever—but he might have gotten hungry sometime, or even kind of tired.
During vacation he had wished they could stay at the beach forever. The sun and the sand and the waves were so awesome! But then he would have missed lots of good times with his friends at home.
Zach knew he was really glad some things didn’t last forever—like school, cleaning his room, weeding the garden, and going to the dentist.
Zach decided maybe it was better that Christmas didn’t last forever either. He wouldn’t really want to do just one thing all the time. Why, he probably wouldn’t even want to run his remote-control car forever!
But Zach was glad for one thing—that Jesus is forever. It would be awful to pray and then find out that Jesus wasn’t alive anymore, that He wasn’t around to listen to our prayers and answer them. He was glad Jesus always had been and always will be.