Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

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Written by Mr. Peter Langbroek
Carolyn quickly shut the back door after she entered the old farmhouse. The cold draft made her cheeks rosy when she walked briskly from the barn. Carolyn was grooming and feeding her horse Brandy. She took off her toque and put her cowboy boots on the rubber mat in the entry by the kitchen.

ÒHi Grandpa!Ó She smiled at Grandpa who was sitting at the kitchen table. Laugh lines etched into his face as he smiled back, his eyes twinkling at her. His large shoulders hunched over and his calloused hands hugged a warm mug of coffee.

ÒHey Red Cheeks; you better get inside and thaw out.

ÒYou got that right!Ó shouted Carolyn who was washing her hands under warm running water.

ÒSo, when are you moving in with Brandy?Ó joked Grandpa.

ÒItÕs not that bad, Grandpa!Ó Carolyn and Grandpa understood each other. Ten year ago, Grandpa and Grandma moved out of the old farmhouse and built a new house next door. He was over a lot, especially since Grandma died.

Just then, Mom walked into the kitchen, quite irritated. ÒCarolyn, itÕs quarter to seven. The Messiah concert starts in three quarters of an hour. You still have to shower and get dressed!Ó Mother sighed, ÒI sometimes wish you had clock in your brain! Your sister Rachel is already dressed!Ó

ÒYes Mom.Ó

ÒI hate dressing up,Ó muttered Carolyn. ÒMom always wants me to look like a Barbie doll! Carolyn had no brothers, but Dad always joked that he had four kids, three girls and one tomboyÑCarolyn.

ÒThen donÕt get dressed up,Ó said Grandpa. ÒYou look fine to me.Ó

ÒYouÕre not serious, are you?Ó asked Carolyn. She never knew when to take him seriously.

Barn clothes are a fine way to listen to a Christmas concert as far as IÕm concerned,Ó replied Grandma.

ÒMe in my smelly barn clothes and cowboy boots,Ó laughed Carolyn, Òthat would be a scene!Ó

ÒWhy not?Ó Grandpa asked. ÒThen tell me Who was at the first Christmas program and what were they wearing?Ó

ÒI donÕt get it, Grandpa.Ó

ÒTake a chair, Carolyn.Ó Carolyn sat across from him. He looked her in the eye. ÒYou know where Jesus was born, a stable, right? When Jesus was born, Mary wrapped him in cloths and put him in a feeding trough. Then, while she was caring for him, shepherds were down the ridge, nearby in the fields, watching the sheep at night. Their clothes smelled like sheep. They smelled sweaty too, from working in the heat all day. They had to protect the sheep because the sheep were giving birth to lambs. The wild dogs could smell that quite well.Ó

ÒThen, all of a sudden, an angel came to them in a big light, and the glory of God shone around them. They had a fright, for sure, when they saw him. What did the angel say to them? YouÕre learning that verse for Sunday school.Ó

ÒÕFear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger, Luke 2, verses ten to twelve,ÕÓ recited Carolyn.

ÒWhat happened next?Ó asked Grandpa.

ÒAn army of angels sang to them,Ó answered Carolyn.

ÒHow much did they have to pay to hear them sing?Ó

ÒNothing,Ó answered Carolyn.

ÒThatÕs right, and they only sang one song: Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace, to men of His good pleasure. And after the singing, they went right away to see the baby Saviour. Or do you think they showered and got dressed up before they saw Him?Ó

ÒNo!Ó said Carolyn.

ÒThat God picked shepherds for JesusÕ first visitors was amazing. In those days people thought shepherds were a bunch of liars and thieves. Not only that, but the shepherds werenÕt allowed in the temple because the religious leaders thought they were too dirty.Ó

ÒDo you mean I donÕt need to dress up? Mom, did you hear what Grandpa said?Ó Carolyn called out.

ÒDonÕt get me in trouble with your mom now,Ó chuckled Grandpa. What this Bible story is telling us is that God chose the lowest kind of people in those days to visit His Son first. And His Son, the King of heaven, wasnÕt born in a very nice place either. What do you think, were Joseph and Mary all dressed up?Ó


ÒRemember this, God sent His Son to be King and Saviour of sinners. He comes to sinners with good news. ThatÕs what the people at ÔThe MessiahÕ concert will sing about. Listen well.Ó

Carolyn, hurry up!Ó Mom yelled from the bedroom. Carolyn got up from her chair.

ÒOne more question. What did the shepherds do when they got back to the sheep?Ó asked Grandpa.

ÒÕAnd the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them,Õ Luke 2, verse twenty,Ó recited Carolyn.

ÒI hope you do the same thing,Ó replied Grandpa.

Children, there is another Christmas story where Jesus visitors did dress up to visit Him. Who were they?

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