Monday, 20 December 2010

Media Christmas

Our downstairs pipes are frozen, my lift is sitting down here out of order, the snow is still confining me to barracks - but I'm warm and have enough to eat and drink. And it's beautiful outside. Snow is remarkable. Can every flake really be unique? Well, I suppose every human who's ever lived or will live is.

I heard John Bell of the Iona Community on "Thought for the day" on the Today Programme this morning. He was talking a lot of sense about our "entitlement" culture. We reckon we're entitled to get the World Cup, win the Ashes, have uninterrupted travel, whatever the weather. He said something like, Whether we're Darwinian evolutionists or seven-day creationists, we should know that we're only a small part of the universe. "So maybe when the inclemencies which other countries accept as standard begin to affect us, maybe that's for our own good. It reminds us that we are not in control, and that marvellous as we think our lives are, the life of the world is more marvellous and more important yet. And maybe, when we feel we're not getting the weather to which we're entitled, we might ponder, now that global warming is all but certain, whether the globe is getting the care to which, under heaven, it is entitled." A wise man.

I must say that the BBC seems to be giving the Christian faith a fair airing this week. On prime time TV Channel 1 they are putting on a big-budget four-part dramatisation of the Christmas story, starting tonight. From the preview articles I've read it sounds extraordinarily impressive. Tony Jordan who cowrote Hustle and Life on Mars and scriptwrites for Eastenders has researched and written the adaptation, called simply Nativity. He talked about the experience on Radio 4's early morning Sunday show and described how in the process he had moved from a position of agnosticism to believing it had really happened. Among other things, evidence from NASA about the nature of the star had impressed him. I suspect he's quite an intelligent man, looking closely at the evidence. Would that more people were willing to do the same!
Mary on the road (BBC website)
I'm looking forward to seeing the familiar narratives come alive in a fresh way. I'm hoping that there will be imaginative characterization but not great liberties with the recorded events. The good thing is that the events are so well known that we'll recognise when they're departed from - won't we? Was there really a donkey?? Or camels?? Etc, etc. Frankly I don't think it matters. What matters is that teenage Mary carried God in her womb and held Him in her arms.

PS The lift has been mended. I'll be able to go to bed tonight. Thank you, Oxfordshire Social Services. Keep up the good work.

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