Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Parable of the Birds

I read this for the first time this morning and I hope it blesses you as much as it blessed me this Christmas Eve morning.

The Parable of the Birds
Louis Cassels
Once upon a time, there was a man who looked upon Christmas as a lot of humbug. He wasn't a Scrooge. He was a very kind and decent person, generous to his family, upright in all his dealings with other men.

But he didn't believe all that stuff about God becoming man, which churches proclaim at Christmas. Why would God want to do anything like that?

So when his family left to attend midnight services on Christmas Eve, he stayed home.

Shortly after the family drove away snow began to fall. He went to the window and watched the flurries getting heavier and heavier. Sometime later, as he was reading his newspaper by the fire, he was startled by a thudding sound that was quickly followed by another. Then another.

When he went to investigate, he found a flock of birds huddled miserably in the snow. They had been caught in the storm, and in a desperate search for shelter had tried to fly through the window.

"I can't let these poor creatures lie there and freeze," he thought. "But how can I help them?"

Then he remembered the barn. It would provide a warm shelter. He quickly put on his coat and boots and tramped through the deepening snow to the barn. He opened the doors wide and turned on the light.

But the birds didn't come in.

"Food will bring them in," he thought. So he hurried back to the house for bread crumbs, which he sprinkled on the snow to make a trail into the barn.

To his dismay, the birds ignored the bread crumbs and continued to flop around helplessly in the snow. He tried shooing them into the barn by walking around and waving his arms. They scattered in every direction -- except into the warm, lighted barn.

"They find me a strange and terrifying creature," he said to himself, "and I can't seem to think of any way to let them know they can trust me."

"If only I could be a bird myself for a few minutes, perhaps I could lead them to safety."

Just at that moment the church bells began to ring. He stood silently for awhile, listening to the bells pealing the glad tidings of Christmas.

Then he sank to his knees in the snow. "Now I understand," he whispered. "Now I see why You had to do it."

Louis Cassels was religion editor for United Press International.   His "Parable of the Birds" has been reprinted and rebroadcast on radio many times in the years since it first appeared in the Christmas editions of newspapers across the country in 1959.

God bless you all and Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Funny Christmas Memory

When I was little Christmas Eve dinner was at Grandma's house but the "real" party was down the block at my Aunt's place. After we ate and enjoyed time with our Grandparents we would walk down the block and celebrate the rest of Christmas Eve. There was always lots of salsa music blaring out of my Uncle's huge sound system. Plenty of more food was ready to eat and for the adults lots of Coquito (Puerto Rican Eggnog). The laughter was at high volume and us kids loved watching and laughing at the adults having a great time.

One Christmas the adults decided to surprise us with a visit from Santa. Unfortunately Santa was having some "happy" juice with one of his "elves"  in the kitchen before his scheduled appearance. When Santa finally arrived, he was very, very jolly!!!  He was feeling so full of mirth, that he wanted to climb up on the roof!!! Me and my cousins, brothers and sister were all laughing watching Santa stumble around and then poor Santa lost his pants!!! That is when the laughter became uncontrollable!!! To this day Santa can not live down the infamous Christmas when he traumatized us kids by mooning us!!!


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