Friday, 31 December 2010

Latest News

After a short break with my Mum in London, we missed Christmas at Taizé and we missed catching the events at the crib as they unfolded, but here is the latest news. Taizé Crib Just before we left, a chicken and her chicks had arrived in the stall along with a dog, but as predicted Jesus was not there yet. We zipped up the hill yesterday to check out what had been going on and he had arrived and, all wrapped in swaddling clothes, there he lay in the manger. Some more angels had also made it and were hanging from the rafters. The shepherds had not got to the Nativity Scene yet and the wise men are also on their way, so there is still more to look forward to.

Things will be very quiet for the next few days as almost everyone will be in Rotterdam for the European meeting. It is a strange feeling that Taizé has gone to the place I lived in for so long. I wonder how many of the European kids will be staying in my village, perhaps not that Photo from the NRCmany as although the village is a very religious one - at least 5 churches and almost everyone goes to one of them – most of them are staunch Calvinists and Taizé’s open and ecumenical approach to Christianity might be a step too far for them. I always used to think that they were a bit like the Amish with their black clothes and black hats on Sundays, blanking anyone not dressed like them. They don’t have television and they refuse to have their children vaccinated, they follow Calvin’s words literally when he said that God has predestined their fate and have sadly been touched by the polio outbreaks in 1956, 1978 and 1992.

In any case between 25 and 30 thousand youngsters arrived in Rotterdam on the 29th December for 5 days of communal prayer along with the majority of the monks who live in Taizé and a large number of the permanents who will have been working their socks off along with local church groups to get things to go right. They are using the Ahoy which at 30,000 mˆ2 is 6 ½ times as big as the Church of Reconciliation, this is some event to organise.

When they come back to Taizé, the action will restart on the Nativity Scene culminating with the Wise men arriving I assume on the 5th. Even though I missed the action at Christmas itself, my trip home did clear up one or two problems I had in my mind about Nativity Scenes.
St Giles IckenhamSt Giles Nativity Scene
At the end of the carol service on Christmas Eve, I saw the Nativity Scene in St Giles, my childhood church, and there it was including the premature baby Jesus. Whilst looking, I overheard one of the church wardens talking about the scene to someone else and to my relief this is (relatively) recent addition to the Christmas celebrations it is only for the last 25 years that they have had a crib in the church, so I am not going senile after all, there wasn’t one when I was a kid, so there was nothing for me to remember about it after all!

La Tuilerie Website

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