Went to the church nativity play this morning. My boy was the main character in a "21st" century version of the old story. This included Santa as the narrator. Given that significant numbers of children think Christmas is the celebration of Santa's birthday I was not sure that this was the wisest casting choice but all went well.
There was of course the usual chaos of such events. My wife was drafted in as an angel at the last minute to substitute for the non appearance of some of the heavenly creatures due to colds. The prompt worked overtime as stage-fright was rife but it wouldn't be the same if everything went slickly and smoothly.
I love the whole build up to Christmas. I know that for many it's no longer a religious experience but for me its so crucial in my own faith journey from the manger to the cross and then the empty tomb. The problem for me, as it is for the whole Christian community is that the rest of the world wants to keep the baby in the manager to avoid the deeper message of the Christ among us, that the peace of the world will happen only when we love not just our neighbour, or even the stranger, but our enemy as would have them love us. Easy words but tough to live; but imagine a world where we did so.
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