Saturday, December 15, 2012

Alphabet Advent – P is for…

P-2-cap oinsettia

Image Citation
Maria and Pablo quietly walked along the dusty road. Earlier they had been chattering with excitement and joy. Their entire village was celebrating the birth of Christ. A life size nativity was being displayed at their church. Traditionally everyone would bring exquisite gifts for the Christ child on Christmas Eve, but Maria and Pablo did not have anything to give their Savior. Their hearts were heavy as the walked empty handed into town.

In a moment of inspiration, Pablo suggested they gather the green plants along the way to create a soft bed for the manger. With renewed enthusiasm they quickly picked the softest of plants and scurried to the church so they could place their gifts before the Christmas Eve service began.

The door creaked as the children slipped into the chapel. They began carefully placing their gift in the manger. They tucked and twisted the leaves so the baby Jesus would have a soft bed. Maria silently prayed that their gift would be acceptable. A warm calmness filled her heart as she felt the love of her Savior and knew that He was pleased with her symbolic gift of love.

With a burst of laughter, a group of children entered the chapel comparing their gifts and bragging about how exquisite their offerings were. When they asked Maria and Pablo why they were ruining the nativity with their nasty weeds, Maria’s heart sank.

She knew that Christ understood her gift of love, but now she feared that they had desecrated the nativity rather than improved it. A tear slid down her cheek. She closed her eyes quietly and prayed for comfort. To her astonishment, the weeds had transformed into breath-taking flowers fit for a king. All the children realized that the gifts of love and service were of more value than trinkets and glitter to their Savior.

This star shaped red flower of love would be called "La Flor de la Nochebuena" (Flower of the Holy Night, or Christmas Eve).

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