A jam jar nativity? No, it's one of forty jam jar lanterns made for our families and children's watchnight service, waiting to be painted with glass paints. I had an amusing morning transferring peel off stickers onto jam jars - stars, bells, natiivty scenes, snowmen, Christmas trees... you name it, we had it!
This year the level of coughs and colds and other lurgies is high, so I was very happy when we had half a dozen children and roughly double that number of adults. Ably assisted by our knitted sheep and some sound effects we shared a retelling of the nativity story from a sheep's eye view!
Later I will going a midnight service, and hope to find something special there too.
Tomorrow is the 'big day' worship and then community lunch for whoever arrives... then that's it for another year! Or is it?
What was the first Christmas Eve like, Lord God?
A heavily pregant girl going into labour in an overcrowded house in an overflowing town
A man watching, helpless, as his young wife moaned and pushed, assisted undoubtedly by the local stool-woman
And all around them life (and death) carrying on just the same as ever
And beyond neat alliteration people starving, weeping, cheating,
Hoping, waiting, cooking, drinking, cleaning...
A tiny waif slipped into the experienced hands of the midwife
Opened his tiny mouth
Filled his infant lungs
And let out a mighty yell...
And the man wiped sweat form the young girls brow
And the girl drew the infant to her heavy breast
And you, God, you nestled safe and content in her arms...
Emmanuel, God with us.