My son, Nicholas, was in kindergarten; it was an exciting time for a 6-year-old. For weeks, he’d been memorizing songs for his school’s “Winter Pageant”. Because the public school system had long stopped referring to the holiday as “Christmas,” I didn’t expect anything other than fun, commercial entertainment – songs of reindeer, Santa Claus and good cheer. So when my son’s class rose to sing, “Christmas Love,” I was slightly taken aback by its bold title. Those in the front row – center stage – held up large letters, one by one, to spell out the title of the song.
As the class would sing “C is for Christmas,” a child would hold up the letter C. Then, “H is for Happy,” and so on, until each child holding his portion had presented the complete message, “Christmas Love”. The performance was going smoothly, until suddenly, we noticed her, a small, quiet girl in the front row holding the letter “M” upside down – totally unaware that her letter “M” appeared as a “W”.
The audience of 1st through to 6th graders snickered at this little one’s mistake. But she had no idea they were laughing at her, so she stood tall, proudly holding her “W”.
Although many teachers tried to shush the children, the laughter continued util the last letter was raised, and we all saw it together. A hush came over the audience and eyes began to widen. In that instant, we understood – the reason we were there, why we celebrated the holiday in the first place, why even in the chaos, there was a purpose for our festivities.
For when the last letter was held high, the message read loud and clear: “CHRISTWAS LOVE” And, I believe, He still is!
There was a nun living in a convent who owned a parrot. She tried to teach this parrot to speak, but with little success. However, the parrot did pick up on one phrase, which the nun would often be heard to repeat. You see the nun did not get on very well with her Mother Superior and often after Mother Superior had left the room the nun would say in her frustration, “Oh I wish Mother Superior would drop dead!” Unfortunately… the parrot soon learnt to repeat this phrase.
One day, the Mother Superior was walking past the nun’s door and she overheard the parrot saying this, feeling most upset she went to speak to the Bishop about the matter. The Bishop also owned a parrot and he told Mother Superior that his parrot was a good parrot and that he had taught it to pray. “Why don’t you borrow my good parrot for a few days, place it in the room with the naughty parrot and let us see if he can teach it some manners – or perhaps even to pray.”
Mother Superior did this and some days later when passing the room, she put her ear to the door, to see if there was any progress. As she listened she heard the two parrots speaking. “Oh I wish Mother Superior would drop dead!” said the naughty parrot and the Bishop’s parrot replied, “Lord hear our prayer!”