One of the extra-ordinary things about Christmas is the amazing creativity I see in school nativity plays – the retelling of a 2000 year old story in ways that remain fresh and new. It’s a reminder to me of how my faith is as much as 21st Century faith as it is a 1st Century one with something to say about life and its living to everyone, no matter what they believe about God.
Which of course, is the point of things like nativity plays in schools. They are not evangelical opportunities but a time when, through drama, the wisdom of one faith community can be shared with others of all and no faiths. In that sharing everyone is included. Those that don’t believe in the God bit can still find something for themselves and their view of life, even if it is that they disagree with the idea that Jesus was God on earth.
Sadly, there are those who, because they take the view that there is no God, want everyone else to live in a world where we can’t talk about God. They claim that they are excluded by Nativity plays when the truth is it they who are excluding themselves. Their view of inclusion is that if they don’t like something, no one can enjoy it. Why is it that because they don’t want their children to take part in a nativity play, my children shouldn’t either. Their view of exclusion is that everything, (except their view, should be excluded in case they choose to be offended.
On that basis, we would say nothing about anything in case someone disagreed with something we said. I don’t want that kind of world and neither did the baby in the manger who said we should love our enemies even at a cost to ourselves.