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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Jonathan's First Christmas

Pin It The following was shared by Jim Higgins in our news letter that went out last week. It's a great story and thought you might like it.

Image of the Nativity
Image by "dan"
The following story is a purely fanciful rather than factual interpretation of that special day more than 2000 years ago. I hope it brings a smile to your face and a swelling of love within your heart.

 For several weeks little Jonathan had been pestering Michael to put in a good word for him with the choir director.

 "I'm sorry Jonathan, I've told you before, you are just too young to sing with the choir," said Michael. "But there is something you can do to help. Are you interested."

 "Awe, I guess so. But what could be more important than singing with the choir tonight?"

 Michael smiled and whispered in Jonathan's ear. Jumping for joy and starting to yell, Michael had to quickly hush Jonathan before he spoiled the surprise.

 "Now," Michael instructed, "go home and ask your parents if they will give their permission for you to come with me. There is lot's to be done so we need to leave soon. Can you be ready in time?"

 Without the slightest hesitation Jonathan was nodding his head so hard Michael thought it might break off. In an instant Jonathan was gone and Michael was left standing there admiring such youthful exuberance.

 At the appointed time Michael looked for Jonathan and found him standing behind him with a grin as wide as the pearly gates. "How long have you been standing there?"

 "Only about an hour," confessed Jonathan. But Michael knew exactly how Jonathan felt. "Well, what are we waiting for? Let's go"

 "Ewe; it smells in here; and it is so dirty. What are we doing in a stable?" Jonathan protested. "I thought we" and Michael interrupted.

 "This is where Jesus will be born tonight. And, although he must be born into the most humble of circumstances, we are going to help make it clean for Mary, his mother, when she and Joseph are rejected at the inn."

 With a little more explanation Jonathan finally understood and eagerly began following Michael's instructions. It wasn't long before David, the innkeeper's son, arrived and started cleaning the stable. David didn't know why but he had the strangest urge to complete his most hated job. Soon, the stalls were shoveled and swept clean. About that time, Leah, David's sister came out and helped distribute the clean straw and hay.

 "Wow," said Leah. "You've done a really good job this time. What's gotten into you?"

 "I don't know. I can't seem to help myself. I'm sure the same miserable men will be coming to the inn later and they'll probably be grumpier than ever, what with the taxing and all."

 "Uh huh," Leah agreed. "And they'll probably expect you to take care of their animals, too."

 "Well, at least it will be easier with the stable already cleaned and plenty of hay available. I wonder when the first one will arrive."

 "He's already here. But he was walking - no animals for you."

 "So, I've done all this work for nothing; great!" Just then David and Leah both felt strange and warm.

"What was that?" asked David. Leah, a little perplexed herself, didn't know what to say.

"I think we're done," he continued. "Shall we go back to see what else mother or father needs us to do?" asked Leah.

 "You go ahead. I want to double check and make sure everything is in order. I'll be there in a few minutes."

 Michael smiled at Jonathan and told him what a good job he had done prompting David and Leah to clean the stable extra well. It was just about then that Leah came back with another traveler and his cow. The man was obviously impressed with the condition of the stable which made David feel even better.

 As the day became evening, each traveler seemed equally impressed at the quality of boarding for their animals. Finally, just about sunset, Leah was told to escort a couple to the stable and to bring a blanket. The inn was simply too full to make room for any more overnighters but, after some pleading by Leah, her father had finally agreed to allow the couple to stay in the stable with the animals to give them some protection from the cool air of the spring time nights. David had run ahead and made sure there was an especially clean stall with extra straw for this pregnant woman.

 When they were sure this couple had what they needed, David and Leah turned to leave and Joseph thanked them both for helping them. Later that night Mary was delivered of child surrounded by the warmth of the animals near by. Michael and Jonathan watched through the night as the innkeeper and his family came to visit along with some shepherds and others.

 Finally, with Jonathan protesting, Michael told him it was time to leave. Taking one last look at the babe lying in the manger, Jonathan couldn't help but feel better when he was sure he saw baby Jesus wink at him as if to say, "It's all right. I must now do this alone. Thank you." Jonathan knew he had been a part of the most important day ever. He joined Michael as they returned to heaven and his own parents.


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