In countless churches this morning there’s a nativity tableau with an empty manger awaiting the baby. By the end of this Christmas night the gap will have been filled and the scene will be complete.
For hundreds of years craftsmen have offered painstaking examples of their humble wood and plaster work to their churches, dusted down each December and set on freshly gathered straw, to become an act of community prayer, understood by the smallest child, recognised by the forgetful elderly, soliciting memories in all of us of Christmases gone by, and lives gone by, and awakening hopeful beginnings and promises of what is to come.
A very special moment, that pause of reflection before the new baby on Christmas morning.
Peace + hope = joy …