Tuesday, 29 December 2015

BCYS Guest Blog: The Greatest Story Ever Told


I have been involved with the BYCS since I first went to Lourdes in 1999. They asked to write an advent reflection. I focused on the story of the Nativity - the accurate biblical version! This is quite different to most of the other blogs on here...

Despite the Nativity being one of the most frequently told, and certainly acted out, stories in the Bible, it is often inaccurately shared and its richness, depth and complexities overlooked. Few Christians realise that it only features in two of the four Gospels, that the Magi probably visited anything from six months to a year after Jesus was born, and that only Luke refers to the shepherds. Even Pope Benedict XVI felt the need to address commonly held Nativity myths in his book, Jesus of Nazareth – The Infancy Narratives [2012], after which the Daily Mail labelled him a ‘killjoy’ who ‘crushed’ nativity traditions.

The word Nativity has it’s roots in the Latin nativus ‘arisen by birth’, and gives us the start point of Christianity; the moment “God became flesh through Virgin Birth”. This monumental occasion deserves the undivided attention of all Christians; can we afford to be ill informed about such an event?

Often people’s’ understanding of the story can be vague and superficial. Indeed the classic retelling of the story of the Nativity through primary school plays has adapted so that a cast of Mary, Joseph, shepherds and wise men is no longer sufficient. Reportedly in some schools there are now parts for aliens, punk fairies, Elvis Presley, footballers, a lobster and a drunken spaceman. Naturally carols have also been replaced with Christmas-themed pop songs including those by Justin Bieber and Michael BublĂ©.

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