Happy Christmas


I was at a party Friday night. Father Christmas had just come in through the back door, kids were screaming in terror at so jovial and red a man, and adults began to realize their jobs were behind them for a while. Writing tends to leach into the weekends, but being my own boss I've joined in the trend. I'm officially on holiday.

My reading's gone seasonal too, lapping up the Christian story in two books, SON OF GOD from the BBC series, and H.V.Morton's old travel classic IN THE STEPS OF THE MASTER. Both explore the reality of the Jesus story, though Morton's approach is appealing. For instance, while sitting in the locale of Lazarus's grave he cites the story of Mary and Martha, the two sisters ... "And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things ..." For him that simple repetition of Martha's name, soothing the woman while instructing her, has the stamp of reality. It could not belong to myth. Elsewhere he wonders at precise domestic detail in the gospels, proof for him that the writer was present at the scene.

I'm intrigued by this writerly approach to the bible, trusting in a professional response to the words and craft to reveal the degree of truth. I look forward to going back to the New Testament myself some time, and reading it as a writer.

For now, the family is gathering and I'll set words aside for the season. Have a warm and happy Christmas, and a holiday that refreshes you well.

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