Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: STEAM (12/03/15)
- TITLE: Three Pots of Soup
By Trudy Newell
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I took the lid off the slow cooker and steam rose fogging up my glasses. But oh, did the vegetable soup smell good on that cold December day. Homemade soup and bread interspersed throughout the holiday season helped to simplify and focus Christmas on the One whose birth we celebrated. The kids loved coming in the door from school with the aroma of soup and fresh rolls or bread. It became a family tradition.
About that time in walked Kelsey and Tyler, the first to arrive home from school.
“Tyler, what happened to your glasses?”
“It happened when we were playing soccer.”
“Isn’t the ball supposed to be on the ground in soccer?”
“Oh mom! There was this guy. Trey’s his name. He accidentally….”
I tuned out and prepared for a trip to the optometrist and a new pair of glasses
When we arrived at the optometrist thirty minutes later, the place was packed. I almost took Tyler and left. I reconsidered because I liked the professional way they handled things, and decided to wait.
“Mom, can you tell me about the shepherds going to Bethlehem? Was the drummer boy already there when the shepherds arrived?”
I chuckled and gave me son a hug. “Tyler, the drummer boy is a song someone wrote. It a ‘maybe could have happened’ story. It isn’t in the Bible. When we get home, I’ll read you the true story from Luke two.”
It was a cold December night in 1882. Steam rose from the pot of soup hanging over the fire. How Hans Troudt* loved the fragrance of his wife’s vegetable soup. There, seated near him by the fire, were his three children.
“Father, tell us the story about the shepherds going to Bethlehem to see Jesus.”
Hans opened their Bible and read the beloved event from Luke two. Suddenly he was inspired to write a Christmas carol for his family. On Christmas morning he surprised them with “Away in the manger no crib for a bed….” How was he to know that it would wind up in a Lutheran hymnbook a few years later under the title “Luther’s Cradle Song?” So “Away in the Manager” was attributed to Martin Luther. But the children and young at heart around the world who have sung this Christmas Carol aren’t worried about the author. By the way, the third verse was added a bit later by another unknown author.
It was a quiet evening on the hills just outside of Bethlehem. Joel loved the fellowship and interaction that took place on these long nights as each shepherd took care of his flock.
He smiled as he watched the peaceful scene. It look like one big conglomeration of sheep. But just let one of his buddies give the call, and a hundred sheep would quickly gather and follow their shepherd.
Joel throw a few more herbs in the steaming pot over the open fire. These rough country men had developed their own version of vegetable soup. Joel warmed his hands as the steam rose up to greet him.
Suddenly a bright light from the sky interrupted his thoughts. What was happening?
Joel and his buddies fell to the ground. As they rose to a sitting position an angel announced “Don’t be afraid, for I bring you tidings of great joy…….” (Luke 2:10)
Then the sky was filled with angels giving worship, “Glory to God in the highest….” (Luke 2:14)
Joel and the six shepherds with him discussed the matter.
"If the Savior has been born, we need to leave at once.” said one.
“What about the sheep?” asked another.
“Forget the sheep. They’ll be fine for a little while. If God has announced the birth of the Messiah, that is our priority. He’ll see that our sheep are okay.”
“Let’s go.” said Joel.
So, they made their way to Bethlehem and found the baby Jesus with Mary and Joseph. What a wonder.
As they returned to their sheep, they told everyone along the way what had happened. When they arrived back at camp, the steam from the pot had turned to smoke and the pot was charcoaled. So much for that pot of vegetable soup.
Joel grinned. He threw the clay pot away. Now he had an excuse to return to Bethlehem to buy a new pot, and visit the new-born Savior a second time.
Footnote *The name Hans Troudt is fictitious, the author is unknown.
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