Monday, 24 December 2012

Reflections on Mr Bean's Nativity


This is a scene from Mr Bean's Merry Christmas video when he interacts with a Nativity Set in a department store - it is full of deep theological meaning !  Do watch it and enjoy.....  It is full of exotic imagery and wild imagination........ just like the book of Revelation!

I particularly like the appearance of the 'Dragon' in the form of a Dinosaur. And a 'war in heaven' that is fought over the Nativity scene, represented by the appearance of Tanks and a Dalek,  before the child and holy family are whisked off by an angel / helicopter to a place of safety. Well more likely to have been a 'Wilderness' in Egypt than a comfortable palace/ doll's house.  

There is even an earlier hint when the Dalek attacks the vulnerable lamb and exits laughing, thinking it has won, which clearly is a reference to the cross and 'the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world'  and Satan's apparent victory at Calvary!

Whilst this is all very 'tongue-in-cheek' the Revelation account is a parallel story to the 'normal' nativity scene and show another dimension to the narrative.  Worth thinking about


The picture is from a blog for "nativity scene with dragon," which points out the extra Biblical Nativity Narrative which is not normally read out in Carol services! It seems more appropriate for a Dungeons & Dragons style fantasy game.
'The Birth of Christ was designed to overcome doom and gloom, and the dragon belongs in the Christmas story.'

  1 And a great sign appeared in heaven: a woman clothed with the sun, with the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.  2 She was pregnant and was crying out in birth pains and the agony of giving birth.  3 And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great red dragon, with seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads seven diadems.  4 His tail swept down a third of the stars of heaven and cast them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she bore her child he might devour it.  5 She gave birth to a male child, one who is to rule all the nations with a rod of iron, but her child was caught up to God and to his throne,  6 and the woman fled into the wilderness, where she has a place prepared by God, in which she is to be nourished for 1,260 days. 7 Now war arose in heaven, Michael and his angels fighting against the dragon. And the dragon and his angels fought back..... (Rev. 12:1-7) 


I received an email which quoted an extract from a Christmas news letter by a Christian worker in Afghanistan: 
"This Christmas, we pray for places of ongoing conflict in the Muslim world, like Palestine, Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan... Even as we are grieved with the senseless deaths of young children in Connecticut, we also wept over 10 young girls in Eastern Afghanistan who were senselessly killed when a landmine exploded while they were gathering firewood. Across the border in Pakistan suicide attackers killed more people on the same day and vaccination workers were senselessly killed for doing a polio eradication campaign...
The one who wages war on earth, the Great Dragon of Rev. 12 is also part of the Christmas story—although not usually a part of the nativity scene (!)—he is clearly seen in the murderous fury of Herod and his soldiers. In Rev 12, this Dragon is thrown from heaven, that ancient serpent who seeks to destroy the Child and make war on those who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus (Rev 12: 17)... But his time IS short, and we know how it ends:
"Salvation and power and the kingdom of our God and the authority of his Christ have come, for the accuser of our brothers has been thrown down..." (Rev 12: 10)
In a strange way the "peace on earth" announced by angels at Jesus' birth is mingled with the wrath of the Great Dragon. But our salvation is near and our eternal home is secure. Emmanuel is with us."

Christmas is seen as a time of Peace, but all peace must be fought for, it carries a price.... a laying down of life, a sacrifice.  Hopefully not literally for most of us, but at least involving a struggle, an effort.  ' Indeed we are encouraged to 'strive together for peace' (Heb 12:14)   

So may you strive for and experience that same Peace the Angels proclaimed to the Shepherds (and there are is a lot of emphasis on sheep in Mr Bean's Nativity): 
And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!” Luke 2:13-14  

Thanks, Mr Bean for making it all so clear.......

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