EASTENDERS SCRIPTWRITER TONY JORDAN doesn’t think that God can be kept in a bottle. He’s right. And that’s why his The Nativity turned out to be so enthralling, enchanting and utterly Real. Goodness: more than one kind of “star” drew the people in. Let me admit, I’ve heard tell of this birth “for you and all mankind” thousands of times. I’ve loved the children’s presentations, the Bible readings, the old films. And still, suddenly, utterly caught by surprise, the coming of shepherds (“the angel said he’s for people like us”) and of faith-filled Magi (“Melchior will see what he’s come to see if I have to carry him to Bethlehem on my back”) moved me, tearfully, to the core of my soul.
So: what’s with Rudolph? Well, like Jordan said, God cannot be kept in a bottle. Not in the Church. Not in a stable. Not anywhere. God is everywhere, and is especially to be found, by you and me, in the most unlikely places! Alpha and Omega. Beginning and End.
… all of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names: they never let poor Rudolph join in any reindeer games. Then one foggy Christmas Eve Santa came to say, “Rudolph with your nose so bright, won’t you guide my sleigh tonight?” Then how the reindeer loved him (fickle little blighters!) and they shouted out with glee, “Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer, you’ll go down in history”.
Let’s be very careful not to leave anyone out of our games! God-in-a-Baby shows you and all mankind that the brightest and best God-given Saviour is right in front of our noses! Sitting next to us. Even if she’s a woman! Even if she’s from Samaria! ‘Tis marvellous and extraordinary! But if in Bethlehem baby then also in every you and me – with or without the name tag “Christianity”. Emmanuel! God with us, helping us see and feel the presence of his beloved people though they be in one place and we in quite another. God who opens us to the Divine presence IN and around his beloved – though we’re just a bunch of stargazers. For North, South, West or Eastenders, this is Emmanuel. God with us.
PRIVATE FEEDBACK: What did you think of The Nativity?