Wednesday, 18 September 2019

The Baker's Carol

The baker came out from the back room with a tray of gingerbread men just as the children entered. There were three of them, a girl about seven, a boy maybe six and another boy much younger, all three wrapped warmly in coats, hats and scarves.

Quietly, they watched as he arranged the cookies in a neat row, like soldiers marching in parade. When he finished, he set the tray on a counter behind him and leaned over the display case. “May I help you?”

“We got a question, mister,” the girl piped.

“All right,” he said, smiling.

Gesturing with a mittened hand, she indicated the front door, then the shop’s interior. “There’s no Christmas in this store,” she said accusingly. “It’s Christmas Eve and there’s nothing here about Christmas.”

The baker continued to smile. “Oh, but you’re wrong. This shop is full of Christmas!”

“What do you mean?”

He wiped his hands on a cloth and took off his apron. “Here, I’ll show you.” He came around the display case and walked over to a chair where a guitar lay.

Wide-eyed, the children followed.

Taking a seat, he wrapped his arms around the instrument with practiced ease and began to strum. “I can explain it to you in my song,” he said. “Listen.”


Little men of gingerbread

Cinnamon buttons, cherry red

Baked by happy, loving hands to please us

Crooked arms and legs askance

Frozen in delicious dance

To celebrate the joyous birth of Jesus

 

Pale white dough, soft as a lamb,

Remind us of a shepherd man,

Who heard the angels singing up above him

Left his flocks on yonder hill

As the sky with glory filled

Ran to tell the Baby that we love Him

 

Plump, golden loaves

Sweet, raisin-gemmed

Remind us of the three wise Men

With turbans high and gifts proffered before Him

‘Twas bread He broke to match the wine

To symbolize His love divine

He gave His life, O come let us adore Him!

 

Five little loaves and some small fish

Made a more than ample dish

For thousands in the Master’s loving hands

So when we trust for every crust

That He provides, rejoice we must:

He hungered, too, and truly understands.

 

When dough, punched down, then seems to die,

Remember when the Savior, high,

Upon the cross died, too, ‘mid cruel scorning.

Yet yeast, miraculous and humble,

Like faith, though it did seem to stumble

Does rise again, like Him, on Easter morning.

 

EE Kennedy

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