Born For You takes us back to Bethlehem to experience with new immediacy the sights, smells, turbulent events and emotions affecting ordinary people.
Whoever said those words recognised how stories can unfold in intriguing ways that surprise us. One paradox of the Christmas story is that this most surprising story of all time (God became a human being! Really?!) has lost its capacity to surprise. We think we know the characters and the plot and the underlying subtext - if God's salvation intentions can ever be described as subtext!
But to be introduced to these familiar stories from an unusual angle is to recapture that capacity to intrigue and to invite us into the surprising mystery again. How did the innkeeper view that busy night when his stable became the labour suite for the Son of God? What was going on in the paranoid mind of Herod that led to a massacre that shares a place alongside the war crimes of today? And were these three men from the East colleagues, or strangers who met in the desert under the light of the one star?
Seeing through new eyes helps us to hear with new ears. The familiar becomes strange in order to bring us closer than we expect. And the truth ambushes us by surprise. Kay Brown has an uncanny ability to enter the inner world of these ancient characters in the Bethlehem saga. She sees, hears, smells, touches and feels the atmosphere around, and listens in on the inner dialogues of exploration and discovery. God slips into their inner world as gently and unobtrusively as he did in that backyard stable whilst Roman Emperors thought they ruled the world.
As you read these reflections -or better still - listen to them being read, don't be surprised if God seems to have drawn a little closer while you were not looking. After all, it is Christmas!