Friday, December 22, 2006

"I am shocked" - in a good way!

Our Christmas Carol service was a good occasion when members of both the church and the Musical Society came together, sang traditional and new carols, took part in Christmas sketches, and prepared a simple cradle with strips of cloth. One highlight was the Nativity Play performed mostly by adults, but they did it as though they were infant school children, with Joseph's catchphrase being "I am shocked" as the events unfolded. It's easy to forget the shocking message - that God did not come to us with force and power, or with big boots on, but even through the cries of a vulnerable baby we witness God's relationship with us - and it's easy to squander the hope of such a message, burying it under busy-ness, tinsel and seasonal stress, but the hope remains: a new world is possible, if we follow the example of the Prince of Peace, if we love our enemies, if we forgive one another and put the needs of 'the last' first. Shocking, eh?