There are so many repeats on television, and often we are frustrated by them: “There’s nothing new on telly!” can be heard across the land most days of the year.

But at Christmas we seem to welcome repeats. Christmas isn’t Christmas without the Sound of Music, The Great Escape, Morecambe and Wise and the Queen’s Speech (okay, technically not a repeat, but it is on every year).

Is the Nativity a repeat like all the others? Each year Mary and Joseph are told there’s no room at the inn, the shepherds in their tea-towels are surprised by angels, wise men wearing old curtains visit with Gold, Incense and Myrrh, and a doll is found in a wooden box stuffed with hay (the box, not the doll).

Nativity plays are wonderfully evocative. I really enjoy them. But I wonder if we sometimes lose the impact of it because it’s children playing the parts and Jesus came from the shelf of a toy shop at some stage. Do we simply enjoy the performance but miss the message? That would be like watching the opening sequence of our favourite film and thinking we’ve seen the whole film.

Be blessed, be a blessing.

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