“The King walked over and reached for the book. He turned it toward Lucifer and commanded, ‘Come, Deceiver, read the name of the One who will call your bluff. Read the name of the One who will storm your gates.’ Satan rose slowly off his haunches. Like a wary wolf, he walked a wide circle toward the desk until he stood before the volume and read the word:
“‘Immanuel?’ he muttered to himself, then spoke in a tone of disbelief. ‘God with us?’ For the first time the hooded head turned squarely toward the face of the Father. ‘No. Not even You would do that. Not even You would go so far.’
“‘You’ve never believed me, Satan.’
“‘But Immanuel? The plan is bizarre! You don’t know what it’s like on Earth! You don’t know how dark I’ve made it. It’s putrid. It’s evil. It’s…’
“‘IT IS MINE,’ proclaimed the King. ‘AND I WILL RECLAIM WHAT IS MINE. I WILL BECOME FLESH. I WILL FEEL WHAT MY CREATURES FEEL. I WILL SEE WHAT THEY SEE.’
“‘But what of their sin?’
“‘I will bring mercy.’
“‘What of their death?’
“‘I will give life.’
“Satan stood speechless.
“God spoke, ‘I love my children. Love does not take away the beloved’s freedom. But love takes away fear. And Immanuel will leave behind a tribe of fearless children.
“‘They will not fear you or your hell.’
“Satan stepped back at the thought. His retort was childish. ‘Th-th-they will too!’
“‘I will take away all sin. I will take away death. Without sin and without death, you have no power.’
“Around and around in a circle Satan paced, clenching and unclenching his wiry fingers. When he finally stopped, he asked a question that even I was thinking.
“The Father’s voice was deep and soft. ‘Because I love them.'”
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