As hard as it is to believe December is here. In a few weeks we will need a new calendar, that is for those people that still use calendars. With these cell phones, calendars and watches are almost a thing of the past. December is probably my number three favorite month. If it wasn’t for the short cold days and what comes next is January, it would be my favorite. But as we get older April and May are hard to beat.
As I reflect back over the past year of 2023, it was a year of major changes for our family, the loss of loved ones and friends but to offset that the birth of my first grandchild on July 1st Ethan James and the birth of my second grandson on September 1stClark Anderson Rayne.
Now for December, for the longer day people, this year marks Thursday December 21st as the shortest day, after that the days become gradually longer.
But the most important day in December is the 25th, yes, the celebration of Jesus Birthday. All the preparation that is needed, a tree, decorations, plan a meal, and schedule the events so as not to overlap each other. But what is the most important preparation for the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ and what should be top on our list? Read on to find out.
So, this brings me to this month’s story, a story I read many years ago. Now this didn’t happen in Fulks Run, but a little town in the Mid-west sometime in the mid-sixties.
Like most churches at that time a Christmas pageant was planned and arrangements were being made. There was this nine-year-old boy he was in the second grade, yes he should have been in the 4th grade, but he had trouble keeping up. He was big and clumsy, slow in movement and mind. We will call the young fellow Wally. Now he was well liked by the other children, but when it came to picking up sides for a ball game Wally was never chosen. We must realize that winning is very important, and Wally wasn’t that good at sports. But he would hang around just hoping maybe they would need another player, but they would find a way to keep him out of the game.
Wally was a helpful boy, always willing and smiling and ironically, he was the protector of the smaller children if the bigger boys would try and chase them away. He would tell the bigger boys to let them stay that they’re no bother.
Now the young fellow wanted to be a shepherd in the pageant, but the director assigned him a more important role, the Inn Keeper. You see the Inn Keeper didn’t have many lines and his size would help with his refusal of lodging to Mary and Joseph seem more forceful.
Soon came the night of the pageant and there was no one there more caught up in the magic of the night than Wally Those that noticed him saw how he stood and watched from the side with such fascination for the lights and props, so much so the director had to watch so he didn’t wander onstage before his cue.
Then the time came. Joseph appeared slowly, tenderly, leading Mary to the door of the Inn. Joseph knocked hard on the door, and Wally the Inn Keeper was waiting.
“What do you want,” Wally said as he swung the door open quickly?
“We seek lodging Sir,” Joseph replied.
“Seek it elsewhere! This inn is full!” Wally spoke harshly.
“Sir, we have asked everywhere, and we have traveled far and are very tired.”
“There is no room here for you,” Wally answered looking stern. “Please, Sir, this is my wife, Mary. She is heavy with child and needs a place to rest. Just some small corner for her, she is so tried, please.”
Now for the first time the stiff rigid stance of the Inn Keeper was more relaxed as he looked now at Mary. Then a pause, a long pause, so much so the audience became uncomfortable. Then the director from behind the stage whispered, “No be gone!”
“No, be gone!” Wally repeated.
Joseph sadly placed his arm around Mary as Mary laid her head on Joseph shoulder and the two started to move away, but the Inn Keeper did not return inside his inn as the script instructed. Wally just stood there watching the lonely couple. His mouth was open, and on his face a look of concern, and suddenly the tears rolled down his checks. And then that pageant became different from all the others as Wally cried out, “Wait Joseph come back! Bring Mary back! Don’t go!” And then a big smile came over his face as he spoke, “You can have my room! You can have my room.”
A few people in town thought that the play had been ruined, but many others that knew the true meaning of Christmas considered it the best Christmas Pageant they had ever seen.
That brings us back to the most important Christmas preparation to be made, and that is to give Jesus a place in your home, and most importantly is give him room in your heart. This year celebrate the true meaning of Christmas.
I want to thank all the people over the past year that told me that they enjoyed my column, and to my readers, and to every CRC reader I hope you have a wonderful celebration of the birth of Jesus.
Believe It Or Not
Until Next Time