Using the brilliant, deceptively simple device of telling the Christmas story backwards, Stephen Cottrell helps us encounter it as if for the first time.
Though the Christmas story is well known, most of us have learned it from school nativity plays and carols. On the whole, this familiar version is more concerned with light than darkness. The backwards approach taken here allows the movement to be in the opposite direction, enabling us to get under the skin of a complex narrative.
We begin by seeing through the eyes of Anna, the prophetess; followed by Rachel, who weeps for her children; King Herod; Casper, a wise men; David, a shepherd; Martha, the (so-named) innkeeper’s wife; Joseph; Elizabeth; Mary; Isaiah and, finally, Moses. Each imaginative reflection is prefaced by a Bible reading and followed by a prayer.
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