I wonder what picture springs to mind when you hear the word ‘Christmas’?
For many people, it will be the traditional nativity scene of Mary and Joseph at the stable with the baby Jesus, accompanied by shepherds and wise men. That’s not surprising, as such an image appears on many of the Christmas cards we send and receive. I wonder, though, if you have also imagined yourself as being in the picture?
Around the country, and at our ‘Love Came Down at Christmas’ shop in Peterborough city centre, people are being urged to ‘get in the picture’. You will be able to dress up as one or the biblical characters, or just appear as yourself, and get in the picture as someone takes a photo of you and others. Later that day, you’ll be able to check the website (www.getinthepicture.org.uk) and download the photo as a memento. It’s an innovative way in which people can learn more about the Christmas Story.
Yet there’s more to it than that! You see, with God we really can get in the picture. We can become a part of the never-ending story that begins with God’s love. Out of that love, God made the heavens and the earth, and all that is in them. Out of love, he has allowed freedom to his creation to learn what it is to love and be loved, and often to make mistakes. Out of love, he has made a way for imperfect human beings like you and me to be put back on course. In the infant Jesus, God has put himself into our picture of frail humanity, so that we can get in his picture of perfect love.