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?


6 thoughts on “BBC – THE NATIVITY ii

  1. The four part presentation of the Nativity was excellent and I want to congratulate the BBC for presenting it the week before Christmas. The casting was excellent – each one – and the text was most insightful. It brought out the place of Joseph, a young man, good, yet struggling to find the faith and strength to say yes to what was asked of him.

    Thank you for this.

  2. “Melchior will see what he’s come to see if I have to carry him to Bethlehem on my back” – I was very moved by this too; in fact the whole series was fascinating and incredibly well done.

  3. I agree, Simon , it was an excellent dramatisation – it caused me to re-examine the familiar story – and added to my wonder at such an incredible event: God Almighty coming to join us in our messy world!

  4. I liked the dramatisation of this familiar story. Certainly a change from it being portrayed as a fairy tail year after year; in fact, effectively stopping anyone from seeing the reality of what actually happened.
    The writer seems to have discovered its truth, but how about the actors? Where are they spiritually?

  5. Please would this be put on DVD and sold. I want to watch it whenever I feel grumpy with the world. Just recalling the conception takes me to a place of peace, hope and enthusiasm for life again! At least I still have that brief but ever retrievable memory for which I am grateful, but should not others have the same opportunity. I would never have watched this piece on account of its title had not my Mum whom I was visiting, wanted to.

  6. Such a row ensued last Christmas when my partner had promised to record The Nativity but made a mistake on timing. To have the chance to see it this year has been a joy as the subject has been treated with such care and attention, it is a classic. The media ‘rubbished’ it last year so much so that many people didn’t bother to watch and then were bitterly disappointed that they couldn’t buy a DVD when it received so much praise. PLEASE will there be a DVD so I can watch it just when I feel low?

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