The Shallowford Farmyard Nativity
The evening was an amazing experience for so many. Men were brought to tears
as the children, leaders, trustees and friends re-enacted the amazing events
delivered by God so long ago. One stranger who happened upon the farm by
chance said “the hairs on the back of my neck stood on end as I watched and
listened to the angels singing to the shepherds in the field”.
Reflections from one participant:
“The rain came to our Bethlehem on the moor, but it came without wind, for
which we were thankful, and it fell gently, and refreshing. There is an old
prophecy that the Christ will come like the rains, that to a generation torn
apart, he will come to bind the wounds of the injured, and that on the third
day he will revive and restore us to his presence.”
‘Let us know the Lord; let us press on to know Him.
As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the
winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.’ Hosea 6.3.
So our Bethlehem was a gathering of a few short of one hundred, huddled into
the courtyard of ancient the farm, and following the whole passage of the
story – of a people under Roman rule and the demand of taxation, of Mary and
Joseph wearily travelling and on arrival every door being closed to them,
until the inn keeper showed them a stable; of the dark field behind the
buildings and flickering lanterns and barely visible dark shadows of
restless sheep, and suddenly bright lights and angels silhouetted against
the brightness, and the sweetness of singing –
‘O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining‘
and silence as people listened, and frightened shepherd
faces, boys and men; of shepherds to the stable gathered round the scene,
the sound of a baby crying, and the quiet breathing of the sheep; and, of
course, the procession of wise men, the sound of music and drumming, of page
boys carrying gifts, and stately men as magi, and the whole bright tableau
and entranced faces watching.
It was good to be there in the damp and be reminded of the timeless story of
a Saviour’s birth, and let us remember that Christ comes as the rain, and
that we press on to know him, that we press onto know The Lord.