Alexi is walking with his babushka on Christmas Eve in a small village in Russia. He wonders why they won’t celebrate Christmas in church.
His babushka explains how long ago soldiers closed the church and threatened to take anyone away who are found inside. Shortly afterwards, all the items in the church disappeared.
Curious, Alexi visits the church a bit later and finds it open. He enters and begins cleaning up inside. He collects pine boughs and places them near the altar.
Soon, the whole village comes to see what Alexi is doing.
After dinner, Alexi returns to the church to find how all the villagers have brought relics and church items their grandparents had taken when the church closed. His own babushka even had the painting of Saint Nicholas kept safe in her barn.
All wait in the church for the priest who turns out to be the shoemaker. He was hidden from the soldiers by the people.
Candles were lit and the Christmas service was just how babushka remembered.
This childrens’ book by Gloria Whelan will surely delight with it’s surprise ending. I loved how all it took was one little boy to bring God back into a little village that had forgotten. It was as if the villagers were all just waiting for someone to take the first step.
Like God waits for us to say “Yes” to Him.