Once upon a time, in a far distant land, there lived an old man preparing to spend another Christmas alone. His wife had died a few years earlier and his children had all moved far away. He went to bed on Christmas Eve and in a dream, God spoke to him and said, “I will be coming to be your guest for a meal tomorrow.”
The next morning the man got up very early, went outside into the snow and chopped logs for the fire and he began to prepare a sumptuous meal for his Lord. It was bitterly cold and snowing outside but inside, with a roaring log fire in the hearth it was lovely and warm, ready for his important visitor. At about noon there was a knock at the door and rushing to open it, he was disappointed to find a beggar dressed in torn clothes standing in the door way. The beggar asked if he could spare a crust of bread, but the old man invited him in, gave him some warm clothes and together they enjoyed a delicious hot meal.
There was another knock at his door, and opening it found an old lady standing in the falling snow. “Please sir, could I come in and warm myself by your fire, I have been tending my husband’s grave and have been caught out by this terrible snow storm.” The man invited her in to sit by his warm fire. An hour or so later came another knock at his door, surely, thought the man, this must indeed be my Lord. He opened the door and standing on the step was a small weeping boy,
“Come inside out of the snow,” said the old man. The lad said that he had been playing with some friends, but they had run off and left him and he got lost in the snow. After he had enjoyed a hot drink and biscuits, the boy told the man where he lived, so the man put on a warm coat, took hold of the little boy’s hand and together they found his home.
No one else called that day and as the man prepared for bed, he said his prayers and finished by saying, “You let me down today Lord, you promised me you would visit me on Christmas day and you didn’t keep your promise, did you?”
The man was very tired and soon fell asleep and in a dream God again spoke to him saying, “You are wrong, I did visit you on Christmas Day..... I came to you hungry and you gave me food, I needed shelter and you took me in, I was lost and you showed me the way.”
“For Christmas Day is doubly blessed, when Jesus is our special guest.”