Monastery of the Visitation

  The Christmas Geese

There was a Scottish farmer who did not believe in the Christmas story. The idea that God would become man was absurd. His wife, however, was a devout Christian & raised their children in the faith. The farmer sometimes gave his wife a hard time, mocking her faith & belief in the Incarnation of God in the baby of Bethlehem. "It's all nonsense," he said "Why would God lower Himself to become a human like us? It's such a ridiculous story."

One snowy Christmas eve his wife took the children to church while the farmer relaxed at home. After they had left, the weather deteriorated into a blinding snowstorm. Then he heard a loud thump against the window. Then another thump, he ventured outside to see what was happening, there in the field was the strangest sight - a flock of geese. They had been migrating south but had become disorientated by the storm. They were stranded on his farm, unable to fly or see their way.

The farmer had compassion on them, he wanted to help them & realised his barn would give them shelter for the night. He opened the barn doors hoping they would make their way in. But they didn't realise it would provide shelter for them, so he tried to shoo them in, but they ran off in all directions. Perplexed he got some bread & made a trail to the barn door, but they still did not catch on, nothing he could do would get them into the warmth & shelter of the barn.

Feeling totally frustrated he exclaimed "Why don't they follow me? Can't they see this is the only place where they can survive the storm, how can I possibly get them to follow me?" He thought for a moment & then realised that they would not follow a human. He said to himself, "How can I possibly save them? The only way would be for me to become a goose, if only I could become like one of them then I could save them, they would follow me & I would lead them to safety."

At that moment he stopped & realised what he had just said; the words reverberated in his head. " If only I could become like one of them." He then thought about what he had said to his wife earlier. "Why would God lower Himself to become a human like us. It is such a ridiculous story!" Suddenly it all made sense - this is what God had done. We were like the geese - blind, lost, perishing. He now understood that God loved us so much that He sent His Son, our Saviour & our Redeemer so that those who believe in Him might not be lost but have eternal life. He now understood the real meaning of Christmas. The winds died down & his soul became quiet & calm as he pondered this wonderful event. When his wife & children returned from church, as a family they celebrated Christmas, united in faith & understanding.