Excerpt from
The Jensen Family

Just then Jason returned. "No candy tonight. The Christmas program's cancelled."
"Cancelled?" Julie gasped. "Why?"

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#78- Always Good!

A Character story about flexibility.

"Mom," Julie called, rummaging through the sewing basket, "where's a needle and white thread?"
"Just a minute, Honey, and I'll get it for you. I just have to get Joshua dressed."
"Could you hurry. I need to fix the hem on my angel robe. It seems to be coming out some here."
"I still can't get over it," Jason remarked with a grin.
"Get over what?" Julie asked without looking up from the sewing box.
"Get over you being an angel. I never thought you had it in you."
Julie looked up in disgust, but when she saw the grin on her brother's face, she laughed with him. "You should welcome the change then."
"Just kidding, of course. Mom, I'll fix Joshua if you want to help Sis. I'm all set to go."
"Oh, thanks, Son. You're an angel."
Julie caught the comment and looked up at Jason as he was about to speak. "Don't even try it!" she warned, lightheartedly.
Mrs. Jensen soon appeared with the needle and thread. "Here you are, Honey. If you don't need any help with the sewing, I'll get myself ready."
"Just show me what kind of stitch to use and I can do the rest."
"O.K. Watch what I'm doing."
As Mrs. Jensen fixed the needle and began to weave it carefully through the cloth, Julie commented, "I sure wish Karla could come to the Christmas program tonight. She really wanted to come, but her parents needed her to baby-sit at the last minute. I really think she's interested in becoming a Christian. I sure have been praying a lot for her."
"Yes, it's too bad she couldn't come. The message of salvation is always so clearly presented in the songs and plays, and Pastor always gives a good message at the end. O.K. I think you get the idea. Here you are. You finish this up while I get ready. I want to be finished in the washroom before your father comes in. He'll probably be very rushed."
"I'll say. We have less than an hour before we have to leave. Thanks. I'll go over my lines while I sew this." Julie took the needle and began to copy her mother's example. "'Behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all people . . .' No, my teacher said I need more feeling. 'BeHOLD, I bring you GOOD tidings of GREAT JOY, which shall be to ALL people.' Oh, I hope I don't get nervous and forgot my lines like last year."
"I all weady," Joshua announced as he entered the room.
"Boy, you look really sharp," Julie praised. "Where did you get that cute little suit? I never saw that before."
"From Gwamma," Joshua answered.
"It's for Christmas early," Jason commented, "just in time for the program." Just then the phone rang. "I'll get it."
"Guess what, Joshua," Julie stated as she shoved the needle through the cloth, "at the end of the program tonight, your teacher will give you a whole bag of candy, just for you."
"Oh, boy," Joshua beamed. "I can hardly wait." He clapped his hands and jumped up and down a few times. "But I'll give you a piece too, Sissy."
"That's real kind of you, but I'll get my own bag. Everyone who comes gets some Christmas candy. And not only that-"
Just then Jason returned. "No candy tonight. The Christmas program's cancelled."
"Cancelled?" Julie gasped. "Why?"
"I shouldn't say 'cancelled.' It's just postponed. Mrs. Garpel said that Pastor's aunt is seriously ill and he had to leave town unexpectedly. They didn't want to have it without him so they decided to wait until he gets back. She said we can probably have it next week. They'll tell us as soon as they know for sure when."
"Oh, phooey," Julie sulked, dropping her angel costume to the floor. "I was really looking forward to having it tonight. What a rotter!"
"Yeah," Joshua repeated, "what a wotter," and plopped onto a chair next to her.
Mrs. Jensen returned just then. "What's this about no program?"
"That's right," Julie grumbled. "No program and no candy tonight. What a bummer."
"Pastor was called out of town at the last minute," Jason related. "So they're waiting until next week to have it."
"Well, that's too bad. But I'm sure the Lord has a purpose, and there's no harm done. The candy will keep."
"But I wanted some candy tonight," Joshua answered.
"Well, I'll bet we can come up with some leftover Halloween candy if we look in the cupboard," said Mrs. Jensen with a twinkle in her eye.
Julie still wasn't smiling. "But I wanted to get my lines over with while I still remember them."
"That's fine. Why not try them on us," Julie's mom suggested.
"It wouldn't be the same. I'll still have to say them for the program next week. I'll have to remember them a whole 'nother week."
"That's all right. It's still good practice. Please say them for us."
"Well, all right." Julie cleared her throat. "BeHOLD, I bring you GOOD tidings of GREAT JOY which shall be to ALL people..."
"Don't smile too hard. You might crack your face," Jason teased.
"You stop!" Julie fired back. "I wasn't through yet."
"Well, you do look rather solemn to be announcing tidings of great joy. By the way, what is the good tidings that you're supposed to be announcing?"
"I would have told you if Jason hadn't interrupted. It was that Jesus, God's Son, was born in Bethlehem of course."
"In Bethlehem? Didn't his mother Mary live in Nazareth?"
"Yes, but she came with Joseph to Bethlehem to register for some kind of tax. You knew that, didn't you? It said in the Old Testament though, in the book of Micah, that God's Son would be born in Bethlehem. I guess God used the tax to move them to the right place. That's all in our play too."
"Hmmm," Mrs. Jensen said pensively. "I think I know what Mary said when she found out she would have to travel about 90 miles to Bethlehem just a short time before delivering her baby."
"You do? What did she say?" Julie asked.
"I'm just guessing of course, but she probably said, "Boy, I was looking forward to being near home and mother for the birth of my baby. What a bummer." Jason and Joshua laughed but Julie hung her head without answering. "I think you get the message, Honey. By accepting the 'last minute changes' as God's perfect plan, Mary and Joseph travelled to the very city where God wanted them when His Son was born. It may have been their disappointment, but it was God's appointment."
"I-I'm sorry for being a bad example to you, Joshua. I guess for some reason God didn't want us to get the candy tonight." Joshua gave his sister a big hug.
"I can tell you one good thing that might come out of it," Mrs. Jensen offered. "Maybe Karla will have an opportunity to come to the program next week after all."
"Yah, I never thought of that! That would be neat. Hmmm, I wonder if God might have even postponed to program just so she could come."
"Who knows, Honey. Maybe He did."
"I can tell you another good thing about it," Jason added. "This way, maybe Dad won't be late!"