I remember a Christmas Day about ten years ago.
I was so, so tired — a new minister whose tummy still got tied into nervous knots at the prospect of planning and leading Christmas Eve services.
I slept late, and then drove to the nearby city to be with a friend.
He was pastoring a church at the time and was similarly tired.

We sat on rickety chairs in his living room and watched “Damn Yankees.” Between us, on a baking sheet, was a large leftover portion of spiral ham. Too tired for plates or forks, we picked at that ham (Lord, I ate a lot of that ham!) and drank Riesling wine and watched Gwen Verdon dance and it was just wonderful.


Thanks be to God for that friend,
(thanks be for that ham!)
you know who you are,
and I remember that Christmas every year.

And I dare some country-western singer to write a song about our Christmas ham, because someone should.

3 Replies to “Ham”

  1. It was the night after Christmas.
    Our vestments were hung up.
    All the tinsel and wrappings
    were strewn on the floor.
    Our preachin’ was done for the evening,
    and our pastoral voices were sore.

    We were a couple of
    tired, worn out reverends.
    Eating leftover ham
    without plates, knives or forks.
    The tastiest meal we ever had shared
    ‘Cause the Good Lord had got us
    through Christmas once more.

    When the good book is shut,
    And the prayers are all done,
    We breathe a sweet sigh all alone.
    For a banker or salesman it’s TGIF,
    For a pastor it’s
    Thank God our sheep have gone home.

    Thank you God
    For my friend,
    And the ham that we shared
    on that Christmas Day night.
    In a rickety chair with my feet up,
    after church was all over
    was when I saw Your light.

    (Merry Christmas!)

    [OH! This is just so wonderful!! Big giant hug – PB]

  2. I have a similar memory, except it was with my college boyfriend. He housesat for a college employee one summer; he was working and had an apartment and I was doing some campus related job that summer. Anyway, their friend had dropped off a spiral ham for the family for when they got home, but it was huge and they sent him home with a huge chunk of it. It was the first “honey baked ham” either of us had, but we grew up on ham (in the rural south) and we literally inhaled it. It was late in the summer and we were hungry.

    Thanks be for the ham! Enjoy your sabbatical!

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