The characters of Christmas

A collage created from images at

The Nativity story in stained glass: Christmas stamps from 20 years ago

In 1992, your Christmas post may well have used these stamps, which show some of the characters we’ll be hearing about once more in coming weeks. All the original windows were crafted by Paul Woodroffe or Karl Parsons in the 1920s: the Angel Gabriel at Pangbourne, a Madonna and Child at Bibury, a king with gold at Leatherhead, and three shepherds at Porthcawl.

Notice how the stamp designer has zoomed in on just some of the characters in a much bigger window, encouraging us to cut out the surrounding visual clutter, to focus on the individuals, and perhaps to try and share their thoughts and feelings.

Perhaps a parable for us? What a difference it might make if we tried this Christmas to cut out some of the clutter of preparation, and to focus on the meaning for us now, in West Fife, of the amazing things that were happening in Judaea 2,000 years ago!

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