Carol and I visited Abingdon today. In the main precinct we were surprised by a shepherd boy and young king who invited us into an empty shop where a stable had been set up. A baby lay in a manger, and passers-by were being invited to put on shepherd's clothes and enter this stable scene to stand behind the baby, and have their photograph taken. The whole imaginative idea was to jolt us in our Saturday shopping to realize that the Christmas story is for us.....we should make time to picture ourselves within its good news. After all, 'a Saviour has been born to YOU' (Luke 2:11)
Various churches were cooperating to staff the event, giving out free teas, coffees and mince pies and befriending any of us who stopped by. I tried on one of the shepherd's tunics but found myself trapped in a garment that proved far too small (too many mince pies already!) Then I was given a tabard and went with a 'king' into the stable, while the Baptist minister - David Fleming - took our picture. Just before me the Mayor of Abingdon had visited and been photographed with the baby Jesus in his arms (without his dressing in Middle East garb!)
The whole project is called: "Get in the Picture." You can go online www.getinthepicture.org.uk and see the pictures. Date - Dec. 4th; place -Abingdon. But, most importantly, as you visit the site you will be invited to pause and reflect again on the Christmas story and its meaning. Several suggestions are offered to stop and make us think, plus full details of all the Christmas services in the area. What an imaginative way of presenting good news. I really hope and pray that many will be stirred for the first time this Christmas to get in the picture!