Monday, 19 December 2011
Don't you just love what chewing gum does to the star? Tonight we went round giving some of the earlier stars a bit of a shine. I think we'll be having words with the manufacturer of this spray paint. It's not weathering very well. In a couple of the places we could hardly see where the star had been. How are my kids ever going to spot the starry trail if they've all washed off? Feels a bit like re-spraying when you do the annual Christmas services at church. I mean, year after year you tell the same old stories. The angel Gabriel, a young girl, a crazy announcement, the incongruity of the whole virgin thing, the star over the obscure Middle Eastern town, the stable, the shepherds, the kings. (Herod's slaying of the babies even got a mention tonight but usually we tend to gloss over that hideous chapter). Over and over we tell them. School concerts, sunday school, christingle services, nativity performances, carols by candlelight, midnight mass, Christmas morning services with bells on. But somehow, like the gold stars, the stories need retelling. I guess like any good stories - they wouldn't be good stories if you didn't retell them. And they seem to have lasted quite well. A couple of millenia in fact. I wonder in the retelling, do they change us, or do we change them? I think I should stop trying to theologise at midnight. I need my bed. Anyway, at the carols by candlelight, B&B gave me my top highlight of Christmas, as they have these past couple of years, with a beautiful duet of 'Lullay lullay my little tiny child'. It comes out of that grizzly Herod story, but it's an amazing carol. Thanks guys.