REV IAN SNARES: A different perspective on nativity story

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YOU might think you know the Christmas story very well already.

Some of us have been re-enacting the nativity in various ways for years.

The fact that God should want to come to earth in the person of Jesus, to experience the joys and suffering of the human condition, is incredible.

Even our Christmas carols barely do justice to quite how extraordinary this was.

So sometimes it’s good to get a different perspective on the story – seeing it from a different angle reminds us of just how special it is.

That’s one of the reasons we’re delighted to welcome Christian theatre company Riding Lights to St Wilfrid’s Church, Cowplain, next month.

Their talented actors will perform Simeon’s Watch for us from 7.30pm on Wednesday, December 7.

It tells the story of a normal family whose lives are transformed by this mysterious arrival.

It focuses on Leah, who keeps losing things, including her sheep.

Her father, Simeon, seems to be losing something more serious, such as his memories.

But he still mutters about his angel and seems to be watching out for something important to happen.

Meanwhile, Leah’s daughter’s life seems to be racing ahead into the future.

Sometimes it is good to be reminded that the arrival of a much-heralded messiah would have had a massive impact on families at the time.

Jesus wasn’t born in isolation, but into a family and a community who might have expected something or someone quite different.

It helps us to think about what our reaction should be to a God who chooses not to remain remote, but gets his hands dirty by living among us.

Riding Lights have been performing fantastic plays with Christian themes all over the country since 1977, including CS Lewis’s The Screwtape Letters, Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale, Max Frisch’s The Fire Raisers and many more.

Each year they also tour two family-friendly Christmas plays that seek to bring the nativity story alive.

This promises to be their usual mixture of slapdash comedy, authentic drama and tear-jerking pathos, all performed in their energetic style.

We’d love to see you there.

Tickets cost £12 or £10, and are available on 01904-613000 or on ridinglights.org/simeon.

St Wilfrid’s Church is in Padnell Road. Our Sunday services are 8am, 9.15am and 11.15am.

Rev Ian Snares is vicar of St Wilfrid’s Church, Cowplain