Pastoral Ponderings–Manger Cat

Was Paul right about the manger cat?  I don’t mean the Bible’s St. Paul, but Paul Harvey, who is said to have often shared what he called an old legend of a cat in the manger.  More specifically, a tabby cat, who earned for tabbies of all time, the distinctive “M” in the pattern on their forehead.

Short story version: curious barn cat climbed into manger with baby Jesus, and curled up in a napping cat ball to share warmth.  Crying baby’s hand brushed cat, cat purred, then crying baby Jesus was calmed and quieted by purring cat.  Grateful mother Mary touched purring cat’s purty head, and the “M” above tabby’s eyes became a genetic part of tabby’s across time. (Paul’s version is much better!)

So was Paul right that there was a cat on the scene, along with the Little Drummer Boy, the Littlest Angel and all the rest, sharing what it could with the baby Jesus?  Who knows about the others, but since cats and barns had already been a match made in heaven for thousands of years before Jesus’ earliest barn adventure, cats were doubtless a part of the scene.  And cats DO like to curl up on the bed and purr, even if it is only of bed of hay…

I so wish I cold purr.  I’d do a lot of purring under the Christmas tree, and would try my best to purr in harmony when we’re singing those Christmas favorites as a part of my gratitude to God.  But I can’t purr.  Maybe God even planned it that way.  If I can’t purr to show my gratitude, what can I do?  I’ve got to be more creative, and since loving God involves loving neighbors, what I do to love neighbors this time of year will have to do for a substitute for the purr I can’t do for God.

We’re so creative in our house that we often bake cookies to share with our neighbors, knock on their doors, and sing the first few bars of “We Wish You a Merry Christmas.”  Perhaps not everyone is able to do something so outlandishly creative  , but like the Little Drummer Boy, we each can show God’s love to our neighbors in some small way.

Will it be cookies that you share with your neighbors, or candy canes, or perhaps some other small gift?  Whatever your Christmas gifting, this season makes for a great opportunity to re-connect with your neighbors—but wait until after this Sunday!  We have some post cards to share with the neighbors too that will have our church and Christmas services schedule on it to pick up on your way out on Sunday that you can also share!  Keep your eyes open for God sightings to share when you do!

Sharing the Reason for the Season—Rev. Jim

For the rest of the story (of the manger cat)–

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