The Great Production Meditations No.1: Take your Seat
Mt 1:1 “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham”
Shakespeare wrote, “All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.” In this month of Advent, to focus us on the most important event of the Christian calendar (together with Easter) I want us to see the events leading up to and forming the Nativity as ‘God’s Play’ and observe some of the characters in it.
The truth is that you and I are players in the greatest ongoing drama the world has ever known – the drama of redemption. We may not feel it but each of us has a part to play in it. TODAY is thus significant. Play your part well!
So, sit back in your seat in the auditorium as the lights dim, silence falls over the audience and everyone is alert to what will happen next. If you bought a programme or were given one, you perhaps had a chance to glance at what was coming, but let’s suppose you came in, in a rush, and haven’t had the chance to peruse it yet. You’re here because someone else recommended it, but you really don’t know what to expect. But that’s the problem with Advent, with Christmas, we do know what is coming, we’ve heard it so many times and, depending on the sort of person you are, you either love Christmas or hate it, long for it to come or long for it to be over. You’ve been here, got the Christmas tee-shirt a dozen times or more, so can’t we perhaps give all this a miss this year? Well, unfortunately you’ve got me and I have always felt there was something special about this time of the year and, no, it’s not all the Christmas films Hollywood has pumped out, with the shopping for the Christmas tree (to be cut down) or the Christmas cookies which appear in every one – and the mistletoe to be kissed under! No, it is the incredible wonder of the coming of the Christ child, and I think God must agree for there are more miracles and angels in the passages about his coming than anywhere else in the Bible. So if you’re going to stay with me over this month, what can we do to see it through fresh eyes? I bring to you the Christmas ‘play’, the Christmas ‘presentation’ that God laid on. So the lights go down and the curtains magically draw back on a dark empty stage and a voice comes out of the air, “This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham” No, this isn’t going to start with a manger or a crib, this starts way back in history, this baby has history, this baby is proud of his family tree, which is strange really because it is a tree of people who, yes, did get it right, but also often got it wrong. David? Abraham? Yes, men of faith but also men with massive feet of clay. Yes, this is our family, we can feel at home, these are men like us. Hmmm….