The Day and the Hour Come

"Malchus," Justin said, as he carried some firewood into the kitchen, "I believe the day has arrived."

Malchus’s heart began to race, "Do you mean that you think the house is ready?"

"Yes, I think the house is ready. Brigitte and I have already moved into our home and are pretty well settled. You have been patient and have been steadily working on making yours ready. Rachel has added all of her finishing touches to the inside. Now I believe it's time to move in."

"Yes!" Malchus shouted as he lifted his arms into the air. "I knew the time was near. I just knew it was. I have even been telling Rachel to get ready because the time is short."

"Do you think she took you seriously?" asked Justin.

"When it comes to marriage, yes, I think she has taken me very seriously," replied Malchus.

Hearing parts of the conversation, Brigitte came out onto the veranda, "Time for what?"

"For Rachel and me to get married," exclaimed Malchus.

"I agree," said Brigitte. "I was just mentioning to Ruth the other day that I thought the time was near."

"Have you and Father already purchased the wine for the wedding?" asked Malchus.

"Don't you worry about a thing, son," assured Brigitte. "I've been working diligently ever since your father and I moved into our new home to make the proper preparations. As a matter of fact, Flavius and Claire have said that we can have the wedding celebration on the grounds of their mansion. It will be quite beautiful with the warm spring weather we have had."

"When did they make us such an offer?" queried Malchus.

"On the evening of our house-warming party, Flavius pulled Justin aside and told him of the offer," answered Brigitte.

"We held off in telling you about it because we wanted you to keep your focus on finishing up the house," added Justin.

"I can hardly wait to see Rachel's face when she finds out. She will certainly be surprised," exclaimed Malchus.

"Do you think Rachel will be ready?" asked Justin.

"If I know Rachel, she will be ready. I think she has had a sneaking suspicion that it couldn't be too much longer, since she could see that the house was nearly finished. She even commented one day when she and her mother were finishing hanging up the herbs over the fireplace that things looked almost ready. So when will everything be ready for the celebration?"

"It all depends on you now," answered Justin. "The wine has been bought, and the place has been chosen. Flavius has enough servants that he could have the place ready to go in a day. Your mother has already picked out the decorations, and with your approval, the servants can get started putting them up."

"I'm ready, father. How about tomorrow evening?"

"Brigitte, what do you think? Could you have things ready by then?"

"It will be a bit of a challenge, but I think if we get started right away, Claire and I, with the help of the servants, can manage to have the garden in order for the ceremony."

"What about Rachel? Is her dress ready?" inquired Justin.

"I believe it is, but I'll stop by and talk to Ruth this afternoon just to make sure that all is in order and ready to go," said Brigitte.

"Sounds like it's time, son. Now all you have to do is steal the bride away."

"You talk as though that is the easy part. Rachel is pretty clever, and she may catch on," responded Malchus.

"That is exactly what she is supposed to do," answered Brigitte. "That way she will be ready to go when you arrive."

"I see. I never thought of it quite that way," said Malchus as though he was thinking out loud. "But if she knows, then it won't be a surprise."

"All she'll know is that it is near, very near, but she won't actually know the day or the hour," answered Brigitte.

"Oh, I get it," said Malchus as though a light had just come on. "She will know and not know all at the same time."

"That's right," said his mother. "That's exactly right."

Already onto the next thought, Malchus announced, "I'll be going now. I must head down to the vineyards to find Eli and insure that he will be ready for tomorrow night."

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