12/24/2008

The miracle of Christmas Eve

In a manger much like this one a miracle was lain to rest.
The first beings to greet the Christ child besides his parents were the lowly animals. As we are now the animals back then were very aware of things. They knew this small child was special. They watched over him and sang lullabies. As a gift to the animals for their tender care and attention they are granted the gift of human speech every Christmas eve.
Below is a legend from Norway (the DORs great-grandmother was from there) about the Christmas Eve miracle.


The Night The Animals Talked
In the frosty mountains and on the snowy fields of Norway, there is a legend that draws children to all kinds to stables and stalls throughout the country on each Christmas Eve night. They are hoping to hear a miracle. They are waiting to hear the animals talk. Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus was born in a stable in Bethlehem. This was no abandoned place, but was a working stable, filled with animals of all kinds. Into these humble surroundings, encircled by the innocent creatures of God, the Savior of man came into the world. Now according to legend, at least, Christ's birth occurred at exactly midnight. Inside the stable, the animals watched in wonder as the new-born babe was lovingly wrapped in swaddling clothes and placed in a manger. Suddenly, God gave voice to the animals and immediately they began to praise God for the miracle they had just seen. This went on for several minutes and, just before the entrance of the shepherds -- who had hurried to the stable because angels had told them the Christ had been born there -- the animals again fell silent. The only humans who had heard them were Mary, Joseph and, of course, the Christ child. The legend of the talking animals persists to this day in Scandinavia. And every Christmas Eve, wide-eyed children creep into stables just before midnight to hear the animals praise God for the wondrous birth of His Son. Of course, adults scoff at this. "Old wives tales," they grump. "Those children should be home in bed, not out in the cold waiting for the family cow to preach a sermon." But the children know -- or at least believe -- that animals really do praise God at midnight every Christmas Eve. And who of us -- those who believe in an all-powerful God -- can say that it really doesn't happen?
Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." (Matthew 19:26 NIV)
Have a blessed Christmas Eve and listen to hear the animals sing.
Enjoy your day and don't forget to hug your DOR

4 comments:

Amanda said...

Nice story Syndi. Yesterday I went searching for some Christmas wrap and could find nothing that related to Christs birth, no Church Bells etc. Just made me furious!!

Karen, author of "My Funny Dad, Harry" said...

Now this is a legend I like! I never heard this before.

Powell River Books said...

My grandmother was from Norway, but I don't remember her ever telling me about this one. Possibly it was because when she first arrived in the United States she was five years old. When she went to school she was ridiculed by other children for speaking Norwegian and forced to speak English by the teachers. From then on she abandoned most of the old world customs and lost her native language. I always that was so sad. And I missed my lost heritage. Thank you for giving a little of it back to me with your post. Have a merry Christmas. -- Margy

Florida Beach Basics said...

Makes perfect sense to me! Syndi, many thanks for your comments and best wishes - I thank you for all you do for the animals and for giving voice to Cactus Jack Splash! Happy Holidays to you and your critters. Marge

 

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