This is the story of the fouth wise man. His name was Artaban. He set out to follow the star and he took with him a sapphire, a ruby, and a pearl beyond price as gifts for the King. He was riding hard to meet his three friends, Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, at the agreed meeting place. The time was short; they would leave if he was late. Suddenly he saw a dim figure on the ground before him. It was a traveller stricken with fever. If he stayed to help he would be too late. He did stay: he helped and healed the man. But now he was alone. He needed camels and bearers to help him across the desert because he had missed his friends and their caravan. He had to sell his sapphire to get them because he had helped the man. and he was sad that the King would never have his gem. So he journeyed and in due time he came to Palestine and to Bethlehem, but again he was too late. Joseph and Mary and the baby had gone. Then there came the soldiers to carry our Herod's command that the children whoudl be slain. Artaban was lodging in a house where there was a little child he had come to love. The tramp of the soldiers was at the door; the weeping of stricken mothers could be heard. Artaban stood in the doorway, tall and dark. He had the ruby in his hand. When the captain came Artaban bribed him with his roby not to enter. The child was saved, the mother was overjoye; but the ruby was gone; and Artaban was sad for, as he thought, the King would never have his roby now. For years he wandered looking for the King. More than thirty years afterwards he came to Jerusalem. There was a crucifixion that day. And when Artaban heard of this Jesus who was being crucified He sounded woundrous like the King. He was going out fo Calvary. Maybe his pearls, the lovliest pearl in all the world could buy the life of the King. Down the street there came a girl fleeing from a band of soldiers. "My father is in debt, " she cried, "and they are taking me to sell me as a slave to pay the debt. Save me!" Artaban hesitated; then sadly he took out his pearl, gave it to the soldiers, bought the girl's freedom, and she was safe. Then on a sudden the skies were dark; there was an earthquake and a flying tile hit Artaban on the head. He sank half-conscious to the ground. The girl pillowed his head on her lap. Suddenly his lips began to move. "Not so, my Lord. For when saw I Thee anhungered and fed Thee? Or thirsty and gave Thee drink? When saw I Thee a stranger, and took Thee in? Or naked and clothed Thee? WHen saw I Thee sick in prison, and came unto Thee? Thirty and three years have I loked for Thee; but I have nver seen Thy face, nor ministered to Thee, my King." And then like a whiper from very far away, there came a low and sweet voice. "Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as thou hast done unto the least of these my brethren, thou hast done it unto me." And Artaban smiled in death because he knew that the King had received his Gifts.
Sunday, November 24, 2002
I went shopping today and bought elf shoes. Not really -- but they look like christmas elf shoes. Kind of like clogs with pointy toes and really high heels. I was so inspired by my cute shoes that OBVIOUSLY needed adorable socks to go with them. So I bought four pairs...white wooly, red and black large stripe, winter color small stripe knee socks, and my favorite -- a pair of fuzzy chenile pink socks! They're so comfy. They don't feel quite like socks...more like a footbath...I just agreed to sing at church without resistance -- something I've hardly ever done in my recollection...it must be the socks. Oh, and I bought a new pair of jeans because my other ones all have rips in them..oh dear, I have a listening test tomorrow. Probably should go study! Night!