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Sunday, 4 December 2016

Las Posadas Day 7 - Forgotten?!!!!!!

Joseph, a man full of God’s Grace.

Mary and Joseph and Donkey at the table, keeping warm by the Advent Candle whirligig .
Advent needed a little explanation !!
 Saturday 3rd. Thanks to the emergency hostelry at the Rectory – Mary, Joseph and Donkey were able to sleep in safety despite the intended hosts not arriving to pick them up. No satisfactory excuses – I forgot. When the Rector phoned, I was out at a concert. By the time I returned it was very late and I felt it too rude to phone. Happily the Rector said he would deliver Mary Joseph and Donkey to me at Clenston church.
  We were pleased to see Mary, Joseph and Donkey sat happily on the altar cloth and kept warm by the candles and with a good view of what would unfold at the service. A thought flashed through my mind as I sat at the organ.  The popular modern song “The Little Drummer Boy” has a verse wherein it says “ I played my best for Him”. I’m sure the congregation sang with their hearts too, it certainly was with feeling. After the service there were drinks and something to eat. Mary Joseph and Donkey seemed very content with that.

Upon arrival at home Mary Joseph and Donkey were placed by the Advent Candle; a merry-go-round with shepherds, sheep, kings and a camel and gifts.

Some old woodworking tools were in our shed and I placed these near our guests. Joseph seemed to be looking intently at these tools. I looked hard at Joseph and thought how gracious he was. We don’t know exactly what he thought at that time but he was determined to stand by Mary whatever happened. He had chosen to leave his job and work and friends to accompany Mary in a long and dangerous journey. I then heard myself asking Joseph if he missed his work and his tools. His reply went straight to my heart. He explained that the tools and skills he had were gifts from God, that he could make something new or he could mend things that were broken and both gave him and his customers great pleasure. That was his greatest reward, the pleasure from purposeful hard work, seeing other people’s joy.

He also explained that his ancestors had broken things. Among these were broken promises. His faith was steadfast in the belief that, given the right tools, all of us can always make amends. Looking at Joseph I could see the tools needed.

I wiped a tear from my eye and Joseph noticed. He said that being sorry was probably the first stage and washing ones eyes was a good way to see the light- the way ahead.

That made me smile. This honest, humble and dedicated man had read my hurt at letting him, Mary and the Donkey down the previous evening. He finished with such a gracious statement. “This is our path. We are glad to be here and your home is one we gladly share. With God, all will be well.”

I mouthed the words “Thank you”. It was all I could do. It was all that was needed.

The journey continues……..


Saturday, 3 December 2016

Las Posadas Day 5. A Donkeybox for the donkey?


A night at Mill House and then off to work at The Winterborne Horsebox Company in Stickland, where Joseph was keen to join his old mate George for a few hours to try his carpentry skills at horsebox building.

We thought about how much easier a horsebox would be for a while, but most of them were much too big for us.

 There was, though, one box which was just the right size for us and Donkey got very excited by the prospect of a horsebox (or, more particularly, a donkey box), which he thought would be a jolly good idea.

In fact he took such a shine to it that he sat in it and resolutely refused to budge until it was lunchtime and we managed to lure him out with some carrots.

             MARY  xx

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Las Posadas. Day 3 Guests at the Churchleaders' meeting.

Mini Mince pies - for me!

The best things about churchleaders' meetings are the mince pies. Most people were paying attention to the speaker so I was able to tuck in unnoticed.                                                                        😁DONKEY


Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Las Posadas Day2 - Up with the abbots!

After Morning Prayer at Winterborne Stickland we were sent to our new hosts who took us on a car journey - this was a novelty for donkey who was used to walking everywhere! We were finally allowed out of our box at Abbotsbury where we were all delighted to see that we were in the company of very familiar hosts and so we knew we were in for a fun day!

As it had been a few hours since we last prayed, our hosts decided to take us to the Chapel on the Hill. Mary needed a breather half way up the hill and naughty donkey decided to climb a tree for a better view - we were relieved he didn't get stuck! With the occasional shafts of light piercing the darkness, St Catherine's Chapel was a very beautiful and peaceful place to pray - it was certainly well worth the climb.

After leaving Abbotsbury, donkey was eager to visit some inns well in advance of Mary's due date, and when his hosts found one with a special star he thought this was the ideal place to stop for refreshments. After lunch we all helped our hosts with the final planning for their Advent Discussion
Group which was to take place in another inn that very evening! But before that it was time to pray again and so it was off to Evening Prayer in the Crypt at Wimborne Minster - it was pretty dark down there and donkey was a bit scared but Mary loved the peace and quiet.

Then it was back to Winterborne Stickland and to the Advent Discussion Group at The Crown - donkey was sure he had been to this inn before.....!! Our hosts were joined by 7 other jolly people, including the dog was good to see him again.

And so eventually it was off to bed as we have to get up pretty early for Morning Prayer before joining our new hosts.                                                       


Sunday, 27 November 2016

Las Posadas Day1

Looking for a dog collar.
I didn't get out of the travel box all last night - it's getting pretty smelly in here - Fancy having to share a box with Mary and Joseph! I did take a peek when all was quiet and we were in a very pretty church and there were four very tall red candles and a white one next to us. We kept very quiet and listened to the singing. I wanted to join in but Joseph put his hand over my mouth and told me my singing sounded like braying! How rude!
When all was quiet we set off on our journey to find someone in a dog collar. Mary has been very quiet - she seems a little scared by all this travelling.
We were heading for the home of Mr and Mrs Rev. I was sent ahead to look for them and was a little surprised by what I found....two dog collars! Somehow I didn't think Mary was going to want to stay here.
But then we saw the dog collar we were looking for! We spent a little time getting acquainted
before we went off to church with him (a chance to try out my singing I hope!)
We will be spending the night with Mr and Mrs Rev. I hope I am not in the dog house!


Saturday, 26 November 2016

They have landed!

Las Posadas - The day before Advent Sunday

 Mary, Joseph and a donkey have been brought ashore by the RNLI. It is believed that they are making their way to the Winterborne Valley.

Could this strange package that arrived on the steps of St Nicholas Church, Winterborne Clenston, be  a clue to their location?

Unfortunately, everyone was rather occupied with the baptism of Tabitha so the box remained unopened and was placed on the organ.
Fortunately,  Angela and Gerry were able to keep a close eye on it.

Where will it turn up next?