Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The Christmas Dinner

            “I am undone,” said Mother, “utterly undone!”

            It was Christmas Day.  Alfred and Mother were sitting at the dining room table with their son Jeremy and his fiancé Winifred who had come home for Christmas.

            Mother continued, “I had no idea that it was anything more than just a pretty Christmas  story.”

            She paused and looked at Alfred who said, “Tell me more, Mother.  Tell me more.”
            “Well,” said Mother looking around the table to make sure she had everyone’s attention, “everything fell into place at last Sunday’s service of Carols and Lights.  To see the whole story of the birth of Christ laid out from the beginning to the end made so much sense.”

            She turned to Jeremy and said, “You asked me to read the New Testament, and I did; not once but several times.  I could almost see Jesus walking along the shore of the Galilean Sea with his disciples.  Excuse me, but at times they seemed like such a bunch of dummies.  Then it occurred to me that I was a bit of a dummy myself.”

            There was a hush around the table as Mother bore witness.  She said, “I couldn’t sleep last night so I arose and came down stairs, got my bible from the kitchen and sat by the Christmas tree.  The fire in the fireplace had burned low and I stirred it up and put another log on the fire.  It must have been apple wood; such a lovely fragrance. It was so quiet and so very pleasant.  As I sat there with my bible, rereading the Christmas Story in Luke, I remembered Father Goodfellow saying, ‘This Christmas, let the Christ be born in you,’ and I thought, ‘Why not?’  Then I prayed, and I said, ‘Are you there?’  You see, I wasn’t really sure.  Then a marvelous thing happened.  I knew, I just knew that He was, and I said, “Lord Jesus, be born in me.” and suddenly I felt I was enfolded in His love and His love was all around me.  It seemed to have happened is a moment of time so small I couldn’t wrap my hand around it, but I knew.  I just knew!  I needed a King and now I have one.”

            Alfred bowed his head in silent thanksgiving.  Jeremy and Winifred looked at Mother and beamed.

            “Alfred,” said Mother, “forgive me, I’ve been such an ass and I’ve given you such a hard time, but now I know.”

            “Mother,” said Alfred, “It’s alright, I have often been an ass myself, but I love you.  I have always loved you.”

            “Yes, Alfred,” said Mother, “I know that is true; both the constancy of your love and that occasionally you manage to be an ass, but I love you too.  Now, Alfred, if you will start to carve the standing rib roast, I’ll go to the kitchen.  The Yorkshire pudding should be ready.

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