Wednesday, 19 December 2012


The chilli con carne was fantastic ... but, as I set down the fork I remembered, no pictures!  Oh dear.  You see, it was hunger did it.  Lunch was late, very late ... and it never crossed my mind to take a photograph.
The Advent Candle is burning down nicely ... and watching it each day gives a little quiet space for reflection.  Here it is ... with its reflection!
There aren't many more sleeps until the big day!
Around the stable things are getting a bit crowded too.  At last an angel has put in an appearance.
It was a relief not to have to add another sheep.
I'm wondering if there's a third camel to arrive.  There aren't many crackers left and the baby has to be in one of them ... so I'm expecting a wise man and maybe Joseph .... however, one of the crackers is missing and that might have had the carpenter.  Missing ... maybe rolled on the floor under something or, perish the thought, perhaps thrown on the fire with some rubbish!  It would be number 13 that vanished!
It is a rather cute little set ... the pictures make it look huge ... but that's just camera trickery.
These days you can't believe anything you see in photographs ... it is so easy to remove lamp posts, to add in people who couldn't be present when the pictures were taken, to falsify events altogether and to make people look blemish free and slim.
The best Christmas tableau that I've seen was a "Living Nativity" held a couple of years ago just round the corner from where I live.  Real animals with the smells ... a cold and frosty night with the darkness and uneven ground over which you made your way round "Bethlehem".  That made an impact.  That was unforgettable.  That was more like the noise and bustle of a first century town living in fear of the occupying forces where even whispered conversations might be overheard and reported.  There was laughter and dancing, food and conversation.  It was, quite literally, ALIVE!  You came away from it sobered and reflective with the feeling that you'd touched something very close to what it may have been like to have lived when Jesus was born.
If that church community ever does it again ... I'll be first in the queue to get in!

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