This morning was our church Nativity. It is very comforting that, in an ever changing world, church Nativities remain the same. Barely controlled chaos often gives way to chaos that isn’t controlled at all. There often seems to be more unicorns than shepherds these days and ours had clips from Aladin and The Lion King but the basic message was rock solid. This was not the case at my friend’s child’s school where an astronaut went travelling all over the world at Christmas with her friend – The Robin. No one had the faintest idea what was going on – you know where you are with a baby in a manger.
Anyhoo, the place was teeming with shepherds, wise men (eight of them I think – but the Bible is very non specific on numbers here), stars, sheep, cows, inkeepers and angels all of whom played their very important parts with total conviction. And I was thinking, about how there are no bit parts with God. Shepherds were poor, insignificant, uneducated idiots – and they wouldn’t expect to be part of any Nativity story. The Wise Men were foreigners, outsiders, heathens. They were strangers in a strange land. They wouldn’t expect their visit to be an important part of the Christian narative.And yet here they all are – centuries later – front row and centre of one of the greatest stories ever told.
The birth of Christ is a walking, talking template for how God sees things. And again I say unto you that God does not see things the way that we see them. He does not measure things the way that we do. His idea of status is totally at odds with ours and maybe, unless we reboot our judgement goggles and become like little children who know nothing of status or marginalising those who don’t fit in, then we may never get the hang of Christianity at all.
Aged Parent, however, has Christmas priorities sorted.
AP So you’re not doing Christmas Dinner this year.
Me No, lots of us are working, and I won’t have time.
AP Couldn’t agree more. You’ve got enough on. So what were you thinking of to eat?
Me I thought possibly, a buffet, I’d buy most of it.
AP Oh no, no don’t go to all that trouble. Just a chicken pie, a bit of mash and some broccolli will do for me. You do a very nice chicken pie – especially with your own pastry.