Is it true?  Did it happen?
I like to believe that in every legend, every parable, every story
there is a tidbit of ‘something’ that can bring good news.

The legend of the Poinsettia plant might be such a story
if it is true.
But even if it is not, it is a “good news” story.
It is a story about love.
And fitting to share it for this Advent Four
whose theme is ‘love’.

The legend so impressed Joel Roberts Poinsett,
… first U.S. Ambassador to Mexico and botany-lover
that he brought the bright red star-shaped flower to the United States from Mexico.

In one version of the legend,
little Maria and her brother Pablo were very poor
– barely enough to eat two meals a day.
There was no money for anything other than food.

Each year, their village church created a large Manger scene
and everyone wanted to go and offer the Baby Jesus a present.
Even though the children had no money and couldn’t buy a gift,
they wanted to see the baby and bring him a present.

Maria thought they could bring some weeds growing along the roadside
to make the bed softer for the baby and decorate the baby’s crib.
But when they arrived with the weeds, other children teased and mocked them
for bringing such a lowly gift.

Maria and Pablo began to cry.

Suddenly, the weeds were transformed into bright red petals
that looked like stars!
Everyone was in awe.

It soon became clear
that what the sister and brother had brought the Christ Child
was far dearer than the most expensive present
that could be bought.

It was the Gift of Love.
Valuable beyond any other gift.

But then again,
the Gift of Love
always is.

May the Fourth Sunday of Advent bless you with loving words, loving thoughts, loving actions directed towards others.

And may you be blessed by loving words, loving thought, loving actions by others directed towards you.

Happy Advent Four!  🙂


Photo and Text © june maffin

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