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Hannah's Dinner
by A. D. Barncord Doerr
Copyright © 1998

Hannah was a good citizen of Capernaum and a disciple of Jesus of Galilee. He had returned to the city that morning and had given a powerful sermon to those who came to greet him. Hannah was one of the fortunate who had partaken of spiritual feast. Afterwards, she pressed forward and gently tugged at the Lord's sleeve.

"Master," she asked, "How long will thou stay with us?"

"I will tarry a week," he replied. "What does thou desire of me?"

"Only that thou wouldst have dinner with us five evenings from now."

"I would be glad to."

"Then I will have everything ready by the sixth hour," she promised as she hurried off to inform her husband.

On the morning of the fifth day, Hannah woke excitedly. Today was the day! She busily worked at putting her house in order. Later, she went to the market. What a hassle! She couldn't find dates good enough for her special dessert and the butcher was asking a ridiculous price for lamb. When Hannah left the bustling market place, she was ready to slap anyone who dared talked to her.

Back at home, Hannah calmed down. After all, she reminded herself, tonight will be worth it. She smiled to herself as she remembered the summer day her mother told her the story of Hannah, mother of Samuel the prophet, who she had been named after. Her eyes twinkled. Hannah gave the Lord a son and now I will give him dinner.

At last, it was the sixth hour. Everything was ready. Dinner was on the table and the children were dressed in their best clothes. They waited. Twenty minutes later and Christ still had not shown. Little Timothy was starting to get cranky. Five more minutes--nothing. Hannah decided to go ahead and feed the children. She and her husband, tired from a long day of labor, also began to eat. They went ahead and filled the extra plate, covering it a cloth for their guest, who still hadn't shown.

At forty five minutes past the hour, the awaited knock finally came. Hannah opened the door.

"Master," she greeted, "What kept thou? We waited twenty five minutes for thee and the children were greatly hungered--so we ate."

Jesus smiled at her and look lovingly at the children. "It is good that ye did not wait any longer. For thy little ones need to have nourishment."

He took each child upon his lap and gave each a marvelous blessing. Hannah's husband showed Christ to vacant chair.

"Forgive us, Lord, for this humble meal we have prepared for thee."

The Savoir chuckled, "My dear Simon, thou hast laid a feast for me. I have only eaten bread and very little meat in the past couple of days."

Hannah waited quietly, but impatiently, for Christ to finish his meal. Finally, he looked up, "Hannah, thou hast prepared a wonderful meal."

"Thank you, Lord, but thou still has not told us what kept thee."

There was great joy in the Savoir's face, "I have found one of my lost sheep!"

"Where, Master?" Hannah asked.

"On the way to thy house. I have waited anxiously for several days for a chance to talk to him, yet he always hung back. Today, as I was coming to dinner, he approached and asked me to make his soul whole," tears came down his radiant face, "I was finally able to teach him."

Silence followed for awhile. Hannah looked timidly at the Lord. "That was really important to thee."

"Of course, my sweet little sister. I promised him before the world was that I would find and teach him. And now I have kept that promise . . . just as I have kept it with thee."

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Copyright © 1998, Amanda D. Barncord Doerr