How much do you like Christmas “crib” scenes, those cutesy 3-d representations of Christmas card scenes, with an angelic baby Jesus in a stable, surrounded by a beaming Mary and Joseph and a few token shepherds, angels, and possibly completely three anachronistic “Kings” from the East?
You’ve guessed that I am deeply ambivalent. They are all an important part of the Christmas message, but too often, like the soppy, sentimental and inappropriate carols all around us, they can too easily demean the real story of Christmas to nothing more than a nice children’s story, which we unpack somewhere around early December and put away again after New Year.
Fortunately, not all exercises in Christmas cribs, nor all Carol Services, get it wrong. Read the rest of this entry »