For those who travel upcountry for the holidays, in most homesteads, it's compulsory to attend church on the morning of Christmas. As is expected, the usual sermon of Mary the virgin girl who was impregnated by the Holy Spirit is preached. This Christmas though I heard a different dimension that got me thinking, about Joseph , Jesus stepdad. Not much credit is given to him for raising Jesus as his own, Jesus grew up as the carpenter's son. Imagine you are betrothed to a virgin girl and then she comes and tells you a cock and bull story of how she was impregnated by the Holy Spirit, how many men would believe this story and go ahead to marry the girl to save her from ridicule and embarrassment. Yes, he too was visited by an angel confirming the story but still, he could have run and rejected this huge responsibility of being a father to a son he did not create. There are several deadbeat dads amongst us who fails to cater for his own flesh and blood, what would happen if Joseph was one of them? Well Joseph took up the challenge and he did it well, he accepted Mary’s pregnancy and catered for her and the child like he was his own, kudos to him.
I wonder whether it is just my village church or the same applies elsewhere, but the Christmas sermon tends to drag on and on , after the lengthy sermon, the Reverend launches into another one this time explaining in detail the challenges faced by the village church, the leaking roofs, inadequate seats, his lack of transportation and accommodation, the biting poverty in the village, how the offertory basket is empty nowadays and the church can hardly sustain itself, this time he took it a notch higher by requesting for AC when he noticed the crowd fanning themselves due to the excessive December heat. It is also mandatory to hold a fundraising service and an auction on this day. He ensures that the visiting church folk are milked to the highest possible level and only dismisses the congregation when he is satisfied with the day's collections.
After the long sermon, the next program is feasting like there is no tomorrow, yes it is the usual food we eat all year round but Christmas food tastes different and our tummies too expand to the occasion. I believe it got a lot to do with the good company and vibes. when you are surrounded by love food tastes better. Also, the fact that we are relaxed, away from the hustle and bustle of the city offers one a sense of relief, albeit short-lived.
It is with great sadness that one has to live the comfort and simplicity the village has to offer and return to the city. Goodbyes are said and as we get closer and closer to the city, the mood gets more sombre, the reality sets in, the beginning of a new year, new challenges, uncertain about the future, more work, stress, fatigue, one thing I know for sure is that I will retire to the countryside, buy some livestock, grow my own vegetables and live the evening of my years in simplicity.