Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Cooking or Baking (01/04/07)
TITLE: A Foretaste of the Messiah
By Chuck Livermore
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"Jonah, my friend," called a voice that disturbed the quiet splashes of the water lapping against the shore, "I trust you had a good night."
Jonah turned and saw a familiar face emerging from the fog. It was Zebedee, a fellow fisherman who had just pulled his boat to shore and tied it the branches of a sycamore tree that hung over the water. "The Lord has blessed! I have an abundance! Join me for some breakfast and conversation," Jonah said. "In fact," he continued, "I have too much to carry. I may have to leave some of the fish for the wolves."
"I would help you my friend, but I have my own to carry." Zebedee replied. "I'm afraid the only way I can help is to carry some of the fish away in my stomach. You are not only a good fisherman, but a good cook as well."
The sun was not yet showing its face, but its light peeked over the eastern horizon. As the men enjoyed their breakfast fish, Jonah stared at the fading starlight. "Do you think we will live to the see the Messiah, Zebedee?" he queried.
"He will appear any day now. I am sure of it. Have you forgotten the testimony of shepherds that were traveling from synagogue to synagogue? They told of seeing the angels proclaiming the Messiah's birth. They saw the baby with its mother and father in a stable. Remember?"
"What I remember is that was over twenty years ago when I was a young man with no wife or children. We've not heard anything about that since. Where does a Messiah hide for so long?"
Zebedee leaned close to Jonah as if to tell him a secret. "We are seeing many strange things these days. People are having dreams and seeing visions. It must be because the Messiah is near."
Their conversation was interrupted by the sound of two young boys scampering down the hill toward them. "Papa, Papa," they called with bright smiles on their faces.
"Simon, Andrew! What are you doing out of bed so early?" Jonah called.
"Mother woke us because she had a dream. She said you would need help carrying all the fish you caught last night," the older boy explained.
Zebedee gave Jonah a look that said, "See?" but the only sound he made was a soft chuckle. He rose to his feet and walked away without another word.
Jonah looked at the last fish on the charred logs. "What are you cooking, Lord?" he pondered silently. "Whatever it is, let me and my family be a part of it."
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