Making room for Jesus this Christmas
Posada means ‘shelter’ in Spanish, and it gives the name to our Advent project this year, although we have borrowed and adapted the project from Mexico where the whole idea originates.
The basic idea is that people are invited to offer shelter to Mary and Joseph as these two make their way to Christmas during Advent and to the birth of Jesus. For us Mary and Joseph are little ceramic figures, but we hope that people will be touched by the story afresh as it unfolds, and reminded of its lasting message. We still believe what the Christmas angel at Bethlehem declares:
“Good news of great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born!”
Simply welcoming Mary and Joseph at home, as part of one’s personal preparation for Christmas, is really great. Some people take the opportunity of their visit to invite others into their home, perhaps for a coffee, perhaps for a meal, and how great is that too - and we hope that people will feel able to share with others what the Posada project is and why we are running it.
However just as Mary and Joseph lived in perilous times with threats and uncertainties all around them, so too there are many in our world today who are seeking shelter from others, such as refugees from Syria, Yemen and other places; there are those who long to reach the UK - as illustrated by the recent tragedy of those travelling from Vietnam who died in the back of a lorry in Essex; and there are those who live here as EU nationals in post-referendum Britain for whom the future remains clouded and concerning (100,000 such residents have moved back to their homeland during the past twelve months, with who knows what consequences for our national economy).
Posada can therefore be a real opportunity to pause and reflect, and perhaps to take a step, to act for justice and in the cause of peace.
If you'd like to play host to Mary and Joseph this Advent, simply drop by the church and leave your name and contact number on the list for the night you choose. As there are only 24 nights available to host, we would ask you only pick one so that others may also enjoy Posada.
The happy couple