The Second Christmas Chapter 1 – The Party

There was another knock at the door. Sara looked up from the dough she had been kneading to watch Joseph, her house servant, hurry over to greet and wash the feet of whoever it was. She was sure he was getting tired. Many visitors had arrived that day. Sara scanned the main living area of her home, now providing comfort for nearly twenty friends and family members. She wondered how many others could fit into the normal hosting spaces. She smiled to herself knowing that she had also prepared some of their normally private areas for guests.

Mary had become the person to visit over the last year since Jesus’ death and resurrection. What an honor to have Mary living in her home! Sara was once again overwhelmed with thankfulness that her husband, John, had given up the family fishing business to follow the Master. It was John who had thought that this celebration, the anniversary of Jesus birth in Bethlehem 34 years ago, would be a good idea.

Her children’s laughter brought her back to the present. The new arrival was Yeshua, or Yoshi, for short. He had just been a boy when he was carried along on his father’s shoulders from the countryside to the stable cave, where a baby, also named Yeshua, was lying asleep on that special night. His father, Abram, had brought a lamb that night. Yoshi had brought one this night, and her children, along with the others gathered, skipped and danced around laughing at the lamb’s attempts to put strength to its legs after being carried for so long on Yoshi’s shoulders.

Sara glanced at Tanta Mary, as she was regularly called, sitting close by and holding her hands out so that no one would fall over on her by accident. Mary’s eyes sparkled brightly watching the lamb and the children in their dance. It seemed that the light of that special star had been captured within her eyes and was now shining out through them to light this night.

Sara glanced down at the dough in her hands as she kneaded it. For a moment she was lost in the action. She remembered Jesus’ hands breaking bread only a year ago. Wounds would soon mar those hands which passed the bread to one, and then another. “This is my body, broken for you,” she heard so clearly. Tears escaped her eyes and fell to the table below making clay of the excess flour scattered there. “This is my blood, poured out for you,” echoed in her mind. She had been there, serving the Master and the others that night.

“Mother,” she heard as if from a great distance. She tried to focus. “Mother! Are you crying?” her oldest asked. “No, my dearest,” she lied, “Just some flour in my eyes.” She smiled at her son, tousled his hair and remembered… This was not a night for sadness, but for celebration. How did John like to put it? “The Light has come into the world!”

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