"I have a plan..."
They sat there perfectly still. No one dared move. One hideous, bat-like creature felt a drop of greenish saliva drool from the corner of his lip. He let it drop, not moving to catch it, lest he attract attention. His eyes darted to those around him. They sat there, obviously nervous. They had all seen situations in which THE evil one pointed his perfectly manicured finger at someone, who then fell onto the floor, gasping in undying agony.
No. One. Moved.
"Thrum! Bum! Thrum! Bum!" echoed in the distance. The smell of sulfur permeated the air.
If a human had been sitting there, the impression would have been of a handsome actor or model. Every hair was in place. The lean face carried a certain boyish charm, with high cheekbones and lips that turned slightly upward when he spoke. As if he was smiling to hide the permanently etched sneer which was his normal "look." His voice was not the deep, amplified voice of something like the Wizard of Oz; it was of medium pitch with a refined lilt to it. It was only in the cold, lifeless eyes that one began to see the evil that resided behind this carefully contrived visage.
When one saw the eyes, the voice carried the sound of perpetual death.
Every eye. Every ear. Focused on him.
Thrum! Bum! Thrum! Bum!
"I stood before His mother when He was being born. (see Revelation 12) I was ready to catch Him and crush Him as He uttered His first cry. But the Enemy would not allow it. All this time you thought I was done in. You fools!"
A chorus of shrieks and cries of "No!" and "We always believe in you, lord!" rang out from around the table.
"You thought I was held back. Ha! I pretended to be stymied so I could display my real power later!"
"I told you," snorted a demon with a pig-like snout to his friend sitting next to him. "He always has a plan. Always!"
"Now, we wait," said the evil one. "When He is an adult, I will put Him to the test. Perhaps he can be convinced to switch allegiances and follow me. Probably not, but I will try. Then, I will turn my ultimate plan loose on Him."
"Ultimate plan?" asked a principality. "What is that?"
"We have a weapon," replied the evil one. "We have been refining it for hundreds of earth years. We have infiltrated the very religion practiced by our Enemy's chosen people. We have taught them to love their religion. In doing so, most of them no longer know what it means to be devoted to Him. They will do anything to defend their religious tradition. Anything!!"
Thrum! Bum! Thrum! Bum!
Finally, he whispered: "They will do our work for us."
To my readers: the events surrounding the birth of Christ are given extensive coverage in Scripture. The parts we don't always know about are the human elements, especially from the viewpoint of Jesus' participants. My attempt this Christmas is to stay true to the Biblical text, while shading in what it may have been like "between the lines." Please distinguish my ruminations from God's Word by reading the first few chapters of Matthew and Luke. My hope is that reading my words impacts you even a tiny percentage as much as writing them has impacted me.