#39.11, Tues., Dec. 27, 2022

Historical setting: 589 C.E. a cottage between Annegray and Luxeuil

         We’ve been contemplating the Christmas story with our guests.

         Colleen seems miffed by the ignorance of her own countrymen with their thought that a virgin who could give birth would not then be able to produce milk for the baby.

         “How is it possible that you could be human without knowing the gift of a mother’s milk is from God and not caused by the sinful intercourse with a human? Of course the Virgin, Mother of Jesus, fed him with her milk.”

         One monk asks her then, “So why is there a cow in the story?”

         “There is no cow in the story!” I can attest as one who is actually familiar with the gospel. I know it feels like there should be a cow in the story. And what would be the use of saying Mary lay the child in a manger if there was no cow in the stable to offer a humble gift by sharing the manger with a human or with God?

         Brother Servant mentions, “Whatever happened then, we’re just glad you also have a cow here. Your stable seems so much nicer with a cow even if it isn’t needed to complete the story.”

         Ana offers reason. “Our cow was a gift from a Pagan village. Some Pagans raise these white cattle for gifts and sacrifice.”

         A posset of wine and warm curdled milk is passed around among us all once again. With our cups filled, now we have Christmas with gratitude for a cow even though we aren’t sure why. Some gifts are just like that. Thank you God.

         Our three guests step out into the glistening stillness of this winter’s morning and though we’ve never actually heard this, we all know it is a silence now. In these hills there is no bell to announce the Christ mass.  But at Luxovium the bell will ring these same monks to prayers very soon.  I wonder if we will hear it too in this far distance up the valley.

         Colleen longs for neighbors. I think she finds our little cottage a lonely place even though Ana and I are always here. Having this little visit from the three monks with her same pattern of speech brightened this place into a celebration. She did say she is hoping to find Luxeuil like the monasteries of her homeland where a whole community of people settle around it.

(Continues tomorrow)


Published by J.K. Marlin

Retired church playwright learning new art forms-- fiction writing, in historical context and now blogging these stories. The Lazarus Pages have a recurring character -- best friend of Jesus -- repeatedly waking to life in various periods of church history and spirituality.

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