Around the parish of Wyke Regis this Advent we want to really focus on what this season is all about – and these simple knitted nativity figures could help us by being a reminder to all of us to make space in our lives for the Christmas story.
I am inviting you to take part in Las Posadas, a traditional Mexican celebration dating from the 16th century. Las Posadas, which in Spanish means ‘the inns’ or ‘shelter’, is a way in which we can commemorate in our community the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem and their search for a place for their child to be born. It is a magical way for people of all ages to spread the message of Christmas – and a little seasonal cheer at the same time.
The little knitted Mary, Joseph and donkey will start their journey on Advent Sunday and will hopefully find a place to stay in the homes of some of you. On the second Sunday of Advent we have the youngsters from Wyke Infants School coming to help lead the family service at All Saints – and the children will hopefully take the knitted figures to their hearts – and offer them somewhere to stay over- night until the end of term. Our Sunday school children will get involved too – helping to welcome the expectant family (and donkey) into their homes until at last we come to Christmas Eve and Mary and Joseph will return to church for our balloon service, the carols at St Edmund’s and then midnight Mass at All Saints in time for Jesus to be born.
Our Parish of Wyke Mary and Joseph will probably have a better time than the original couple. They walked about 75 miles on dusty roads and there weren’t places for them to stay so easily. Hopefully our knitted figures will receive a warm welcome wherever they go. And of course as we receive them into our homes – so we can reflect on how we can prepare ourselves through Advent to receive the Christ child once more at Christmas.
Mary, Joseph and the donkey will be delivered to their new homes complete with prayers and blessings for both the community and the wider world. Maybe you might take a photograph of them in your home or jot down in the little diary they will also bring with them how they were welcomed.
It is a wonderful way of involving everyone in the community in the story of Christmas – and by welcoming Mary and Joseph into your home you can share in their journey, and the joy of Jesus coming into the world Christmas.
Rector of the Parish