....It Is Given To The Animals of The Stable To Speak" -
(A story my farrier printed and gifted me with last week. Naturally, on the page, a horse is gazing down. Enjoy, and Merry Christmas!)
Three decades short of two thousand years ago there occurred certain events in a small village in the Judean hills which were to change the life of more than half of mankind. A Child was born, such a Child as the world had never seen, a Saviour, which was Christ the Lord.
Luke, alone, tells us of that Nativity; tells us the greatest story ever told in a scant twenty nine words. She brought forth her firs born son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.
Of the following hours of that night, the writer of the Gospel tells us nothing. But, there is a story told by many peoples, and in many tongues, that has become a legend.
The legend is that Joseph slept from the fatigue of his long journey, and Mary rested from the travail of birth and pondered in her heart of the strange and wondrous things that had been told her of her Child. And the Child lay in the warm straw of the manger and looked up upon the inhabitants of the stable as they surrounded Him and warmed Him with their sweet living breath. The humblest of His Father's creatures were the first to worship and adore Him, the first to know of the great meaning of His coming.
And He, who was to be the greatest of teachers, took from those who live in the stable His first instruction. For one who was to perform great miracles in the name of His Father, it was the smallest of miracles to give speech to his companions of that night, and from them he learned many wisdoms which He was to cherish through all the days of His life. These were the servants of man; but then He, too, had come as the servant of man.
As the night drew to a close, there was the sound of approaching throngs, as the shepherds came in from the hills to verify the message of the angels. And the Child smiled up at those who had guarded Him; He told them that the world was not yet ready to understand what had happened between them, but that throughout all time, for one hour of one special night in the year they might speak among themselves, and to all who might wish to listen.
And so it has come to be that, at the moment when we celebrate His nativity, the animals of the stable speak among themselves. And what do they speak of in the stable? Had you descended from those who were the first to greet His coming, and had you but one hour in all the year to speak, I think I know what you would talk of among yourselves. You would talk only of the events of that most wondrous night of all creation, that its memory might never fade among your kind; that you might be ready were He to come to us again.
Peace on earth to men of good will, and may only such possess us.