There once was a farmer, a good and kindly man, a husband and father of two children. He claimed that while he believed in Almighty God he was not quite sure why God would send a ‘non-celestial’ to earth as his prophet or messenger, or even why not come to earth himself.
A hard working man with a farm that had cereals growing in spring and summer and cows, goats, sheep, store cattle, geese, turkeys and chickens all year round.
One winter evening as he crossed the farmyard after a particularly hard milking session. One cow had been particularly truculent and refused to enter the milking stall, so he was late, hungry and tired. He heard the sound of geese in the adjacent field, he paused and listened, and yes the sound was geese. He was sure his geese where safe and sound in the main barn, warm and well fed. It was quite dark with swirl of snow in the air and all the symptoms of a storm brewing. The farmer went to investigate. The geese where ‘wild geese’, apparently blow off course by the approaching storm. As the wild geese sought the best shelter they could in the exposed field, the farmer headed for the farmhouse and a nice warming meal.
He sat down and began to say grace, as the thanked God for his life; his children; his wife and all his animals and the food on his table his thoughts turned to the cold and hungry birds in his field. Putting his tea in the bottom oven, (For those who don’t know what an Aga is, it’s a large range cooker with two rings, one hot the other cooler; two ovens one hot the other… well you get the idea.) and pulling on his warmest coat he set out to help the geese, I did say he was good and kindly didn’t I?
He opened the large barn doors, annoying the animals inside who didn’t like the cold interruption to their warm and cosy night. He opened the gate to the field and waited for the geese to enter the warm barn; and waited… and waited… nothing happened. He went into the field and shooed the geese towards the gate and the warm barn, but all he achieved was to create total confusion amongst the ‘wild geese’ that flew every which way except the one he wanted.
“Why in the name of all that’s holy won’t they do as I want, I’m trying to help them.” Now this was a man not accustomed to cursing, but he was getting cold and frustrated by the ‘wild geese’ he was only trying to help.
Getting colder by the second he sat by the gate and tried to think of way to get the ‘wild geese’ to trust him. Suddenly he leapt up with that ‘eureka’ look on his face, he raced to the barn and grabbed the largest gander in his flock. He took his goose, who was not best pleased at being disturbed, through the gate, through the flock of ‘wild geese’ to the far side of the field and released the bird. Desperate to return to the safety, warmth and comfort of the barn the goose made a bee line (Or should that be a goose line?) for his pen. As the goose passed through the flock a magical thing happened; the ‘wild geese’ began to follow him and soon they where all safely tucked-up in the barn.
As the farmer made his way back to the farmhouse a realization hit him like a thunderbolt – he understood why the Almighty God, inexhaustible, incessant, all knowing, all powerful, all forgiving God had chosen Jesus, in the form of a mere mortal, with all frailties and temptations of man, as his representative on earth.
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