Where are your Three Kings? Back in the Box?
It may sound like a pair of silly questions, yet I suspect that is exactly where they are. We start Christmas so early in the world today, mainly because of commercial considerations (maybe a little more subdued last year). So when Christmas arrives many are so fed up of the tinsel, baubles et al, that back in the box is where they go! As soon as boxing day in some cases.
Yet that nativity scene that we so carefully setup, actually depicts a scene not even beginning to assemble until Christmas Eve and certainly not complete until the Epiphany (6th January).
Should we not still have it out on display, as the work of the Kings, Magii, Wise men or however else you know them continues? It is this Epiphany season that represents their true relevance to the scene. Not just their gifts, but more importantly, the revelation of Christ to these Gentiles, and then by them to us, God’s people across the Gentile world.
Many churches and homes keep the Nativity scene in place throughout Epiphany, which ends at Candlemas on Feb 2nd. This helps us keep in focus this idea of Epiphany or Revelation.
It is not a new tradition, but a lost tradition. Something that needs to be fully part of a properly restored Christmas celebration. So why not get your nativity scene back out, and use it to pray to Christ. Pray for the opening of the hearts and the minds of all those who do not know him and those who have forgotten.
The Walesby Group, set into the north western edge of the Lincolnshire Wolds, consists of 10 parishes, 10 worshipping communities and 11 church buildings. With a population of around 2100 we are a benefice of very small communities, living in the vast open spaces of this Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. As worshipping communities we aim to grow ourselves in our faith and discipleship, support and engage with our local communities and bring new people to Christ.
We are blessed with beautiful buildings and faithful commitment from our congregations. As the group continues to integrate together, we are being enabled to offer a variety of worship and outreach styles. Lay ministry and leadership is key to all we offer, and encouraged as we endeavour to open the Kingdom and its values to all.
The Christian faith is focused on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. We also believe his death achieved something very special: the opportunity to reconnect with the God that we might believe in but might sometimes feel remote from.
We believe that Jesus was not just a human being but, in some way that we cannot fully understand, God as well. We believe in God the Father, the creator of the entire universe, and the Holy Spirit, who is the way we can experience Jesus today. Not three gods but one, who together are described as the ‘Trinity’ – a description not so much of philosophy but of the relationship at the heart of God.
In the most famous Christian prayer we pray ‘Our Father…’ This creator God wants a relationship with us, for us to be his children and to give us, as Jesus says, ‘life in all its fulness’ (John 10.10).