Sunday, December 5, 2021

#AdventReading Day-5: The Christmas Mystery: Third Sheep


Credit: Flora Waycott

Again, Joachim notices something that he's sure was not in the picture the day before when he last looked at his Advent Calendar. The shepherd is now holding a crook in his hand. He feels that every time he looks at the calendar, he discovers something new.

"The picture outside had never been completely finished, but it gradually painted in what was missing as somebody opened the doors and read the scraps of paper."

And that is how little Joachim starts philosophizing:

"Wasn't the whole world a magic picture which added to itself? For the world changed all the time. It was never completely finished."

It can be that Joachim's calendar IS magical - hence the changes - but isn.t it more probable that Joachim sees them differently after he reads the stories? That knowledge makes you see things differently than before.

Lund, the picturesque student town in Sweden

Anyway, the picture revealed inside door no. 5 is... a rowing boat. A new character is added into the quartet: the (third) sheep. The five of them continue on their journey through a beautiful town of Lund, where they stop to admire the big ancient cathedral. The "time" is 1745. And again, Gaarder put something to ponder upon, through the lips of Ephiriel:

"Churches and cathedrals have been built all over the world, and it all started with the Christ-child who was born in Betlehem. It's as if a tiny seed corn is put into the ground and grows into a whole field. The glory of heaven is dispersed very easily." Wow.... what a deep thought in one passage!

Lund's old cathedral

Now, for a bit of history: The great organ in the cathedral is playing such a beautiful melodies that touches Elisabet. Turns out it was composed by none other than Johann Sebastian Bach! But the sheep' bleating and its bell jingling disturbs the priest, who arrogantly drives them out of the cathedral. To which, Ephiriel scolds:

"The pastor should not be dismayed! Rather, he should not forget that Jesus was born in a stable, and that He was called the "Good Shepherd".  - bravo, Ephiriel! 

Then Ephiriel explains the concept of travelling in two (parallel) direction - through time and space, which is not impossible to God. At which words, Elisabet "marvels and hid them in her heart".  

And with that, they are off toward Denmark, on board of a rowing boat. It's already the year 1703.

Previous posts:

- Day-1
- Day-2
- Day-3
- Day-4

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