15. Pepe and the Christmas Carol Parade

“Here you are, Pepe!” A joyful Bernice had finally found Pepe, “We’ve been looking for you all over the place.”

Pepe’s neighborhood was getting ready to start their traditional Christmas Carol Parade. Everyone was excited, except for Pepe, who was sitting on the sidewalk by himself. 

When Bernice noticed Pepe’s thoughtful look, she asked, “What’s going on?”

Before Pepe could respond to her, their other friends noticed that Bernice had found him and ran over with shouts of enthusiasm. At the sight of sad Pepe, a silence fell on them all.

Pepe looked Bernice in the eye and said, “What’s the point of having a Christmas carol parade? There’s so much sadness in the world! Some people don’t have anything to eat or a place to live, others are very sick, others are being horribly bullied, mistreated or terribly lied to, oh…my heart aches so much!”

Bernice and the rest of their friends were speechless. They all sat beside Pepe on the sidewalk to think about what Pepe had said. A gloominess filled the air.

Pepe’s parents, who were out looking for their son, saw the group of kids sitting in deep thought.

As they approached, Pepe’s mother couldn’t help but ask: “What’s going on children? Look at you all…sitting here thinking when you should be getting ready to sing Christmas carols around the neighborhood! Is there something wrong?”

Pepe sighed and told her about the heaviness in his heart. 

Pepe’s parents looked at each other, and after a moment of careful thought, Pepe’s father said, “Children, God is also very sad to see all this brokenness in the world. Because of that, He created a salvation plan even before the moment we humans decided to detach from Him in the Garden of Eden. See, we wouldn’t be in this mess if we had decided to abide in Him and obey and trust Him. But oh no, we’re very prideful and we said good-bye to God. So, we brought all this darkness on ourselves…”

The children looked at each other. The Three Musketeers were smiling and intently listening, even though no one could see them. 

“So?” Pepe was curious. “What should we do then?”

“Well,” Pepe’s dad continued, “that’s why we have to joyfully celebrate Jesus birth! That was God’s plan for our salvation! God in his inexplicable love for us came up with an amazing plan. We’re so imperfect that only God Himself can save us from ourselves and this terrible mess we’re in. So, God the Father sent His only Son Jesus—who by the way came here by his own accord—to make all things new. Think about this: God became human! Jesus was fully human and fully God at the same time. Isn’t that amazing?”

Pepe’s dad stopped, lost in thought about how truly wonderful this is!

Since the children were still listening, Pepe’s mother continued, “Jesus opened the Kingdom of Heaven to us. He even brought it here to earth! And, by His death and resurrection, He defeated all evil and darkness from our lives if we choose to love Him, follow Him, and obey Him. Thanks to Jesus we also have the Holy Spirit now, who helps us to become the people God created us to be. So, even though there is still darkness in this world, we have to remember that God defeated it all in Jesus. Jesus brought light. And because of that, we can now choose not just to allow God to work in our hearts, but also to become His helpers. One day we’ll live with God in a place where there won’t be any more sorrow, pain, evil, and brokenness. Isn’t that a marvelous and reassuring hope?”

“Wow!” Bernice exclaimed. “Everybody, get up! We have to celebrate Jesus coming to earth! Let’s go! Let’s sing to our King and Savior!” She jumped up from where she was sitting with so much energy and determination that the rest of the children had to follow her.

Pepe’s parents smiled and followed them. The Three Musketeers—Father, Son, and Holy Spirit—rejoiced at the love they were getting. The Holy Spirit filled all the neighbors’ hearts with excitement and joy, and everyone’s singing—as they paraded through the streets where Pepe lived—resembled the choir of angels that announced the birth of Jesus on a quiet night in Bethlehem. 

Related Bible reading:
Matthew 1:18-25
Luke 2:8-20
John 3:16-21

Put it into practice:

God the Father—out of His amazing love for us—gave His Son Jesus as a gift to the world to save it from darkness. What can you do or give to someone to show your love and compassion?

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