“Dad, I’m going now.”
He looked up from his work, gestured to his staff to come back later, and walked over to his son, waiting by the doorway.
“Are you sure about this? You remember what I said …”
“Yes, Father” said the son, “I remember everything, and I know you are worried about me. I know it will be hard, painful, all of that, but you know that we have to do this. If we don’t … “
The father nodded gravely.
“You could at least take some comforts. You know you have the right to money, power, protection. I could arrange – ” but the son stopped him, shaking his head.
“If I did that, then those who have none of those things might not believe I was truly with them, truly one of them. I must be as poor, as ordinary as anyone else.”
The father sighed.
“I know. I know you must do things this way.” The father smiled. “After all, I said so myself a long time ago, didn’t I?”
The son smiled too.
“It’s a perfect plan.”
“But the cost?”
“We must pay it. Who else could?”
They stood together for a moment, father and son, no words but in perfect understanding and love.
“I love you, Father.”
“And I love you, Son.”
Later that evening, in the fields near Bethlehem, shepherds watching their flocks were startled by bright lights in the sky, and they were terrified. An angel appeared to them, saying “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people …”