“I want them to rest. They stayed up all night waiting for Jesus to come.”

It’s that time of year. I miss it TERRIBLY!!!!  Our memory banks have a way of remembering and in some ways it helps us level out in the later years when all we have are the memories of what once was.

Every Sunday after the noon dinner we would have Family Counsel.  The “goods” and the “bads” of the week were re-hashed and the stormy waters, SOME TIMES, were quieted.  In October each member of the family would choose another family from the church to be our guests for what we called, “Little Christmas Eve” (LCE).  It was profitable to have as many children in our home for that evening as possible. What was LCE like?

It always arrived at our home the Friday evening before Christmas, unless that particular evening was Christmas Eve and then we would plan it for the Friday before.

Loren had the full Christmas Story memorized.  The lights were low.  Candles were everywhere. The coffee table was found to have nothing except straw and an empty manger visible.

At a certain time in the evening, I would take a box that had each representative of the Manger scene wrapped so no one knew just what piece(s) they had picked up.

We would go into the living room where all the parents were sitting and the children would sit on the floor around the coffee table, quiet as a bunch of mice!!!!

Loren began to tell the Christmas story.  Each child listened and as they heard the name of the person or the animal, they were to begin to build the Manger Scene.  When Loren finished telling the Christmas Story and the last piece had been placed on the table, we sang very quietly Silent Night, Holy Night. Loren prayed.

Yes.  I can still hear those evenings so long ago.  So fresh in my heart.  Dave and Jan would then take the children down stairs and host them at games and foods to their liking as we would host their parents upstairs with lovely Christmas foods and hot coffee.

It took the parents being there to actually believe what they had just witnessed.  A group of small children, usually numbering more than the number of adults present, and yet, so silently listening and waiting for their turn.

One year one little girl ended up with two sheep that she had laid down by the Manger.  I asked her why.  Her reply was,

I want them to rest.  They stayed up all night waiting for Jesus to come.

The wisdom of a child.  Do WE have it?  I wonder.  I will never forget the precious moments of those hours. I wonder – – – – – if my children remember even a hint of one time.  I wonder.

Heartstrings……stop tugging.  It is alright.  Jesus came.  Jesus is alive.  Jesus lives in my heart this morning.  How about you?

Humblingly at the manger ~~ seeing the shadow of a cross ~~ and a “someday to see” clouds in the heavens part as He comes for His own, never to be in pain, heart-broken, or without comfort EVER again.  The “wrongs” I have done………forgiven.  Home forever.  How about you?  Do you know beyond a shadow of a doubt that you are forgiven and Homeward bound?

Marge H.

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