George especially loved Christmas. It was the time when he felt especially generous. But he just didn't believe some of things the churches taught at that time – like God becoming a man. So he wasn't especially thrilled last December (1862), when his wife had insisted that he go to church to see the children perform in the annual Christmas pageant.
“But George, “she had pleaded, “It's their big moment. There won't be many more of them.”
She had finally succeeded in persuading him to attend the service. The children's pageant had been rather brief and thus only one part of the service. Then, after the choir had sung a carol, the preacher had preached a short, but to-the-point message about the incarnation.
On the way home the children had asked about the pageant:
“Did you like the pageant, Father?”
“It was alight.”
“How did I do?”
“Oh, you did fine, Suzie. And you too, Mary. You both did great.” But his heart had not been in it at all.
After the children were in bed, he had said to his wife: “I just can't buy that garbage. It just doesn't make any sense to me.”
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