On Christmas Eve my thoughts return to the thrilling days of yesteryear when The Red Man ranted and raved his way through cyberspace for seven years from 2010 – 2016. Red was a rescued Welsh terrier that became my alter ego who introduced me to the blogosphere. No subject was too sacred for that little dog to discuss – politics, religion, sports, the dearly beloved, the dearly departed, his favorite TV shows, his crushes on Hottie Docs – really he had an exaggerated opinion of himself and his literary abilities. How I miss him and his mischief.
But what Red really loved was a healthy dose of gossip about someone or something he could make fun of, and there was a particular story about a missing baby Jesus in an outdoor church nativity scene in Navasota, Texas that entertained him every Christmas.
Apparently the old woman Slow, Red’a name for me, had a cousin who was the Church Organist at a little church in Navasota that had a decoration committee which was responsible for erecting and maintaining an outdoor nativity scene every year with the requisite Wise Men, little shepherd boy, sheep, Mary, Joseph, the whole manger “scene.” The focal point of the presentation was a tiny cradle holding the baby Jesus. Just your regular old run-of-the-mill outdoor church nativity scene.
The only distinguishing difference with this particular pastoral scene was discovered by the Church Organist’s older brother one evening in December, 2010 when he was strolling the grounds rolling his cigarettes while waiting for the Church Organist to finish choir practice. When he walked past the nativity scene, he saw that the cradle was empty, as in no baby Jesus at all…anywhere… which kind of ruined the whole effect of the scene. So this Bearded Brother informed the Church Organist who told the Pastor.
High drama ensued at the little church during the business meeting the following Wednesday night in which the church Pastor admitted there had been a cover-up by the decoration committee which was aware the baby Jesus had actually been stolen the previous year but the committee members were hoping no one would get close enough to the nativity scene to notice since no one had noticed last year. None of the members had considered the possibility that the Church Organist’s brother would be rolling cigarettes next to the nativity scene.
Through the years the mystery of the baby Jesus theft was never solved for any number of reasons including but not limited to the year one of the members of the church decoration committee ran off with another member’s husband which completely halted the search that year. Another year one of the Wise Men’s legs broke off, and still another year found the little shepherd boy had grown a mustache of snow…who had time to think about an empty cradle during more obvious emergencies.
Gradually through the years the manger itself began to slowly disintegrate in the harsh Texas winters until this year according to the same Church Organist cousin, the outdoor nativity scene was abandoned and the cradle in the manger moved inside the church to a place of reverence under the Christmas tree in the sanctuary.
The Bearded One had this to say:
Who could dare put the empty Jesus crib by the tree,
still empty! Maybe the decoration committee is trying
to make the thief come forward, and reveal his shame,
just horrible, anyone who would steal the Baby Jesus
will surely burn in Hell.
I know for sure The Red Man would have laughed to himself once again over the true meaning of the Christmas spirit revealed in the never-ending saga of the missing baby Jesus.
From Pretty, Charly, Spike and the old woman Slow, (none of whom can believe it’s really Christmas of 2017)
Merry Christmas to all, and keep a close watch over your mangers.