Sunday, 29 November -0001 18:42

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Written by Peter Langbroek
The Dutch and Canadian flags waved in the wind on either side of the small wooden bridge that led to the small green and white farmhouse. The crowd stood back, gazing behind the white fence, and Mrs. and Mr. Faber waited by the front porch. Everything was as tidy as a pin. Even the barn was clean after Mrs. and Mrs. Faber and their son, Ted, had brushed the cows and trimmed their tails of any dirty clods.

The Fabers had waited for this time. Finally, they arrived, that cloudy day on May 24, 1967. Close friends and family gathered around, watching the lady with a light green dress, wearing a light brown beaded hat, walking to their home. Mrs. Faber waited in her Sunday best, a black dress, with a red rose corsage, and Mr. Faber stood formally with a red carnation pinned to the lapel of his grey suit.

Then, the moment came. A dignified woman walked the bridge toward the small farmhouse. Her eyes and Mrs. FaberÕs eyes met. Then ... Mrs. Faber stood a metre apart, bent forward, and shook the hand of Queen Juliana of the Netherlands. The queen had come to visit a dairy farmer in the Pitt Polder in British Columbia.

Mrs. Faber escorted the queen inside their home while Mr. Faber followed, with his hands behind his back. There was a hushed mood inside the living room that afternoon. There was Ted, his wife Wilma, and their newborn son, Martin, in the crib. ÒIs that your son, MaÕam,Ó the queen asked Mrs. Faber.

ÒNo, itÕs my grandson.Ó

ÒHow old are you then?Ó the queen replied. The family and friends laughed and the mood lightened as they realized how down to earth the queen was.

The moments passed in that living room. Time was precious for a queen on a whirlwind tour. After admiring the strawberries growing in the backyard garden, the queen, her escort and the Faber family and friends went out the backdoor, down the scrubbed sidewalk to the barn. Mr. Faber walked beside her, politely choosing to walk on the wet lawn.

Mr. Faber was nervous inside the barn. They had made it as clean as possible. Such a royal person surely hadnÕt seen a barn before, nor would she understand the smell or the mess that cows could give. The queen walked near the back of a cow.

ÒPlease, Queen Juliana, you must step back. I would not want to see your dress get dirty,Ó Mr. Faber said politely.

The queen laughed. ÒThat doesnÕt matter. It can always get washed.Ó

Time was precious. They soon left the barn, went down the scrubbed sidewalk to the home, out of the home, from the front porch to the small wooden bridge with the Dutch and Canadian flags to where the queenÕs car awaited her. The crowd was still there, gazing over the white fence to catch a glimpse of the queen.

Queen Juliana stopped at the edge of the bridge. Cameras clicked and microphones were placed before her mouth. Some small talk and laughter, and the queen was off, waving from her car to the crowd of happy fans. It isnÕt every day that you see a queen.

Time for work again. Mr. Faber and Ted put on their barn clothes to milk while Mrs. Faber and Wilma tidied the room.

Boys and girls, I visited Mrs. Faber, now an old lady. As I talked with her and she told me about that day, it seemed like yesterday. Maybe you would like a king or queen to visit you too, or some important ruler, musician, author, or scientist. Who would that be?

Something puzzles me when I hear such a story. ThereÕs great fanfare and many crowds. ThereÕs decorum, respect, and tidiness. There are camera flashes, camcorders, and microphones. ThereÕs nervousness over a rainy day or a cow splatter on a ladyÕs dress. For what? A one hour visit! For whom? A human being.

Yet, when the King of kings visited this earth, there was no room for Him in the inn. He was born into a Nazarene family, the son of a carpenter. The stable was not cleaned for Him. His crib was a cattle trough and his clothes were strips of rags.

He did not just visit the world. He grew up as one of the crowd, took His place as the least of men, and lived with them. His friends were a motley crew of fishermen, tax collectors, revolutionaries and ex-prostitutes. He befriended them, taught them, and rebuked them. Finally, He did what no one could or ever do. He died for a crowd of people--His people--who deserved nothing else but the wrath of their Creator and Judge. He died to free them from their sins.

He is Jesus Christ, the Saviour, the Anointed One---the Son of David who is called Emmanuel: God with us (Matthew 1:23). He is Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9: 6).

We live in Anno Dominos : the year of our Lord, 1998. This way of naming years takes notice of the day the King of kings, the Creator of this universe, came to live in this sin-cursed world. ThatÕs why we celebrate Christmas.

Has He visited your heart? Has the Holy Spirit entered your heart to live there, and declare your body His temple? Are you yearning for the day when Christ shall return again, not to visit, but to live and reign on this earth-- an earth and heaven renewed for His presence--forever? These questions are timely, for Christ says and promises: ÒAs many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with meÓ ( Revelation 3: 19,20).Ó

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