Friday, December 30, 2011

I borrowed the car to keep the biscuits dry

Friday 30th December 2011
Some of the star biscuits made at Messy Church
We heard the story of the Wise Men following the star to go and find Jesus.  The children then made biscuits in the nearby hall which doesn't have an oven.  So I walked a few hundred yards to the Rectory to bake them in the kitchen.  By the time they were cooked, it was sleeting.  So I took my husband's car  --  he was walking the dog and my car had been parked at the church when I delivered equipment for Messy Church  --  and left a note "I have borrowed your car to keep the bisuits dry".  One of the more unusual messages left in the Rectory hallway.
      The details of the story which caused some surprise included the fact that St Matthews Gospel doesn't call Jesus' visitors from the east "kings" and  they don't go to the stable but to a house some time after the birth (as they had a long journey to make).  It was the shepherds on the spot (the local people  --  who were Jews like Jesus himself) who, according to St Luke, made their way to where Jesus lay in the manger.  Then the Good News spread further afield to Gentile lands and Wise Men ("Magi" says St Matthew) came from the east, bringing gifts.  We don't know how many Magi there were, but since they brought three gifts (gold, frankincense and myrrh), an idea developed that there were three of them.  Perhaps they were of three different races but we don't know.  Nor do we know their ages, but it's a nice custom to think of them as old, middle-aged and young.  These traditions help us to feel that we are all represented  --  and "Magi" could include female as well as male Wise People.
The story board in church
In contrast to this picture, the biscuits on the blue plate are real.  The other things that the children made included crackers (minus the bangs).  There's a symbolic, though probably not authentic, explanation that the hats inside represent the "kings' " crowns, the mottos remind us of their wisdom, and the trinkets recall the gifts that they gave to Jesus.  (We put chocolate gold coins inside.)

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