Christmas Story 

29th November 2018

as published in Great Yarmouth Parish Life

Caroline Buddery
FEAR NOTIt had been such a happy Christmas celebrating the miracle of the Holy Nativity with family and friends that Mr Oddy wished that special warm feeling of peace and goodwill might never end. He resolved to try to continue to spread a little happiness throughout the year and he found himself pondering on all the Bible readings he had heard at Christmas regarding the unfolding of the loving purposes of God. He especially liked hearing about the angel's message, 'Fear not', reassuring words from which Mr Oddy drew great comfort in an insecure world
He recalled a favourite Bible story, the feeding of the five thousand. He knew it wasn't the only miracle of its kind in the Bible. In 2 Kings there was the feeding of a hundred people and the raising of the Shunammite's son by Elisha. He thought that he would try to study the Bible assiduously so as to gain a better understanding of such happenings. However, Mr Oddy realized that he couldn't be the instrument of a miracle for he wasn't virtuous enough. He liked to do the sort of things to help and cheer other people that he would like done for him but he wasn't any sort of a saint, he knew. As the last rays of sun tumbled on the water, Mr Oddy walked along the riverside, listening to the gentle lapping of the tide against the quay
CHRISTMAS STORYWhen the evenings were light enough, you could see quite a long way down-river and even when it was dark, he liked to pause for a moment, enjoying the tranquility of the day's close, when the busy world becomes stilled. As the sunset turned the sky to roseate pink, reflected on the water, everything seemed somehow to have some connection with miracles, thought Mr Oddy, particularly in this beautiful riverine setting, where boats lay at anchor on the water and opportunist sea-gulls soared overhead in search of food. He reflected that sometimes things seemed beyond man's comprehension but dredging the recesses of his mind he recalled that 'the love of God is broader than the measure of man's mind'. Had not God already wrought a miracle in his life by bringing him here where the moon's silver light in the sky now shone so magically on the river flowing gently through the pleasant town?
As he strolled home, he was aware he fell a long way short of being a good disciple and following Jesus's teaching for he knew himself to be full of failing but he longed to do something to help someone else. Prayer on this matter, he thought, would help. As he turned for home he reached the end of his road and saw a light on in Mrs Pontard's room upstairs. He knew things must be hard for her recently widowed with several children
THANK YOU GODIt was too late for a visit now, he thought, so he took a note out of his wallet, sealed it in an envelope and put it through her letterbox. He wrote' 'God Bless You' on the back in biro, so she might know it was a gift. Of course, Mr Oddy quickly forgot all about this. He certainly didn't know that Mrs Pontard had overspent at Christmas to ensure her children were not at all disappointed and he did not see the joy in her eyes as she thanked God for what she knew to be a miracle