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Jake was lazing in the bright sunlight that morning sitting on the deckchair.  He’d had a good breakfast and was idly thinking about what he should do for the rest of the day when the postie drew up on his motorcycle.  “Foreign one for you, Jake” he said.

Jake took it and looked at it thoughtfully.  “Who could be writing to him from overseas?” he wondered.  Under the postie’s watchful gaze he opened it and looked down at the signature at the bottom of the page.  “Why!  It was from Bobo, a mate he hadn’t seen or heard from for many years”. 

In fact, now that he was thinking of him, he realised they had drifted apart soon after he and Dorrie had got married.  Bobo used to come and eat with them often at the beginning, but then their ways had separated.  So he moved his eyes back to the top of the letter and was surprised to see a formal heading there advising him that the letter was from “His Majesty the Crown Prince of Baba”!   So Bobo, that old rascal, had been hiding his real identity during those early years! 

Postie, who had been looking over his shoulder, exclaimed excitedly, “I’ve heard of him, he’s having a do at the “Palace” just down the road this afternoon, maybe it’s an invitation to the party”.  His physical presence in the country had obviously beaten the mail service.

However, as Jake read on down he found indeed that it was an invitation, but one in which Bobo asked for permission to come and visit for supper that very night at Jake’s place.  It went on commenting on how much he missed Dorries’ roast leg of lamb and especially the vegies – the potatoes and peas, the carrots and the cabbage etc.  Jake smiled as he read, “Yes”, he thought, “Dorrie is a wonderful cook.”

He stirred and thought about how he should get cracking and start collecting the produce from the garden so that she could begin preparing the meal, for there was no hesitation in his mind that Dorrie would love to entertain her guest again.

Then he noticed an odd P.S. at the end of the note – Dodo wanted him get out the old heavy greatcoat they had often shared at footie matches.  What was this?  He was forecasting a very heavy snowstorm for that afternoon and he would need it! 

But Postie had been hatching a plan of his own.

Why waste a perfectly good opportunity to crash the formal party at the “Palace” that afternoon?

So he turned his gaze on Jake and said, “Don’t waste your time on giving him a plain home-cooked meal when he’s used to banquets and chefs from all over the world preparing food for him.  You know how you like that sort of eats too.  Let’s grab your lamb and whip over to the do, and surprise him!”

That was a totally new thought to Jake and at first he rejected it outright.  But postie was insistent, and at last the idea began to take root in Jake’s mind.  Why not?  So he allowed the urger to overcome his reservations and began to look around for the coat.  “You don’t really believe that you’ll need that, do you”, said his new-found “friend”.  That should have alerted Jake, for Bobo’s weather predictions had often been surprisingly accurate in the past, but he shrugged the misgiving off and stopped looking.  He gave up thinking of his mate’s words, and instead began listening to another, a relative stranger.

Within minutes they were on the bike and heading off to the do, with the lamb under Jake’s arm.  (He had forgotten that Dodo particularly liked the vegies.  He had forgotten all about Dorrie too!) 

Before they got there though, they encountered a blinding snowstorm which froze them both to the bone.  How he wished he had taken notice and brought out the coat!

But they struggled on and eventually got to the courtyard of the “Palace” where they found a multitude of revellers standing around a great open fire.  As he looked and saw the party-goers’ various offerings of ox meat and wild goat being added to the dinner mound, Jake felt ashamed of his (in his eyes) paltry little lamb.  The Postie noticed his hesitation and whispered in his ear, “Throw it on the bonfire and no one will notice.”  There was a lamb’s body already on the coals and this seemed to Jake a sensible idea.

So he did.

Shortly after that he ran into his presumed host and was just about to give him a hearty slap on the back when he noticed that Bobo was crying!  When he asked what was the matter, he was told, “Not you too!  So many of those whom I thought were my friends have decided to do their own thing and crashed this formal party and wasted their delicious lambs, and even ignored my request for vegies.  Am I ever going to get a home-cooked meal again?  I am so sick of the brush-offs I’ve received, and these other offerings mean nothing to me right now.”

Then it was that Jake woke up and found himself alone on the deck!

He’d been dreaming!  But what could it have meant?

Then he remembered – the local pastor had been talking with him the day before about bringing his life to Jesus “in the sanctuary courtyard and accepting the blood of God’s Lamb as forgiveness and cleansing for his past life.”  All that talk of ceremonies and rituals had confused him until the minister had said, “All you need to do is accept the Gift of God, for He is the Lamb that takes away the sin of the world.  He has supplied the Lamb and illustrated it there in the sanctuary ceremonies”.  That made sense, and Jake had been seriously considering being baptised at the next meeting when he fell asleep in the sun.  In his dream he must have confused Jesus with Bobo.  But it was so vivid a dream!

Why had Jesus/Bobo cried?

Then it hit him. 

He had read the letter but ignored the desire of his Friend.  He had left his wife out of the plan all together, and decided to listen to the misleading words of the postie.  He had struggled to reach the formal ceremonies when all that Jesus really wanted was a home-cooked meal at the hands of his “other half” and a quiet time “away from it all”. 

He had ignored the plain words of the letter he had read for himself, and allowed a no-doubt well-meaning but deluded associate to guide him in its place.

And it had all been wasted!  For a lamb on the altar was not what was required AT THAT TIME.  And besides, no one had eaten any of that lamb’s flesh at all, or used its blood in any way – it had all been consumed in the fire.

How thankful he was that Someone had been able to open his eyes to what was really needed right then, and that he could have another chance at doing what his Friend wanted.  He needed to reread that letter again!



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