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Summary: A Christmas Eve message that uses the childhood account of Steve Hugo to demonstrate why the incarnation is meaningless apart from the rest of Jesus’ life.

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Tonight, I’d like to share an autobiographical account written by a man named Steve Hugo about his childhood and his next door neighbor.

For as far back as I can remember, I always treated Old Man Jones, my neighbor, in the worst ways. Each April 1st, I had the "burning paper bag with dog poop in it " tradition, and even though Old Man Jones never fell for it, he still had a gross pile to remove from his front stairs! He always knew that it was me, and always said, without anger in his voice, "Someday, you’ll be sorry. "

His driveway was next to ours and in the winter, I always shoveled our snow onto his drive, giving him twice the work. He never did get a snow blower, but when I was 12, just before a blizzard, one appeared in my driveway, with a note saying, "You might need this! " I could now delight in blowing all the snow from my driveway, and most of my front yard, onto Old man Jones’s car. I would even cut a wider than needed path for my mom’s car just to put more snow on the dinosaur’s driveway. (That’s what my mom always called him: "the Dinosaur.") He always knew that it was me and always said without anger in his voice, "Someday, you’ll be sorry. "

I keyed his car more than once. When I discovered the mint 1969 Mustang Mach series car that always stayed under a thick canvas cover, kept for someone, I quickly sought to learn how many pumps of my BB rifle it took send the metal orb through its windows. It took all ten allowed pumps. He knew that it was me and said without anger in his voice, "Someday, you’ll be sorry. "

Between my vandal’s rifle and slingshot, most of his home’s windows had to be replaced at one time or another, not to mention the battered aluminum siding that still bears the myriad of little dents. He never complained about the shattered bird feeder or the constant supply of dead squirrels, sparrows, cardinals and whatever else winged its way into his yard. I do remember the tenderness that he buried the vermin with, though. I can’t recall how many times he had to take his cat to the vet to remove a pellet from an infected wound, but I do remember that he always knew that it was me, and always said, without anger in his voice, "Someday, you’ll be sorry. "

At Christmas-time he used to set up lots of lights around his house that looked like virtual BB magnets, which they were. A plastic manger scene was the prime target one year, and stayed on the relic’s front lawn until I shot the baby’s face off. He knew that it was me and said without anger in his voice, "Someday, you’ll be sorry. "

There was this room in his house that I would look into sometimes when the old man was away. It was the kind of room that I would have loved to have, if my mom could ever get a real job. It was just like one of those "Good Housekeeping” kid’s bedroom that everybody is supposed to want. I always figured that Jones was on the loony side, and this "keeping a cool room for a kid he didn’t have " thing was the final proof that I needed of his senility. I never shot that window out.


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