* Nadia Bolz-Weber’s sermon starts at 41:52 *
Ah Christmas time, mistletoe and wine… no, we’re afraid Sir Cliff isn’t joining us this year, but in his absence we’re pulling out all our Christmas crackers, and laying on a feast.
The way we read and tell the Christmas story is so often sentimentalised, and sugary. But at heart it’s a story of revolution and insurgency. The story of the peasant baby who threatened an empire.
So this year we’ll be tugging the tail of our own empire state of mind, and ‘re- membering’ Christmas together. Our service will incorporate some familiar aspects of the British Christmas, including the Nativity Play, the Queen’s Speech, and even a lovely Carol (thanks for coming Carol!). For our Christmas Dinner, we’ll share the very basic elements of bread and wine, common to cultures around the world. Gluten free and non-alcoholic options will of course be available: please bring a cup.
It would be extraordinary if we were to neglect to remember the present day reality of the ‘little town’ of Jesus’ birth, a place where people still know occupation and oppression, so yes, Palestine will also feature in our service. Our music will be led by DJ and percussionist Sekrit with Mishael Lazarus on vocals. We will be joined by a cast of colourful characters (human and non- human), including John Bell, Liz Adekunle, Sami Awad, Nadia Bolz-Weber. And an angel.