Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Christmas is coming...

Christmas stamps in the UK alternate every year between a 'secular' theme and a 'religious' theme, though 'religious' stamps are always available upon request every Christmas. It is the turn of 'religion' this year to appear on our stamps, and Royal Mail has just released this year's issues.

Each stamp features a (bad, in my view) picture, and a scripture reference. I was quite pleased that the second-class stamp features the angel appearing to St Joseph (patron saint of the Universal Church) in a dream, and you shall call his name Jesus. Though I do think that most people would probably find this scene a little spooky, and wouldn't know what it is about. Unfortunately, Joseph often gets missed out in nativity story. In the film, unimaginatively called the Nativity Story, Mary and Joseph arrive at night in the village of Bethlehem, and Mary is about to give birth, so Joseph takes her from the colt, and carries her through the town with a great sense of urgency. Our salvation is urgent, and Joseph carries it all in his arms. Every time I watch this film, and this scene (saccharine-rich, though it is), I can't help but weep for the beauty of what it symbolises!

First-class is the Madonna and child, and stamps to Europe feature a tightly-wrapped Lord in a manger (or trough, I suppose we should say nowadays) adored by a cow and a donkey.

I like to bulk-buy stamps at Christmas-time, which isn't such an easy thing to do now with the rocketing price of Royal Mail postage, so that I can send all my mail franked with the Incarnation of Our Saving Lord.

Jesus is not just for Christmas.

No comments: