You’ve probably heard the stories about a London wax museum with a nativity scene featuring soccer star David Beckham as Joseph and his wife “Posh Spice” Victoria as the Virgin Mary. Pop singer Kylie Minogue appears as an angel, Tony Blair, George W. Bush and the Duke of Edinburgh are the Three Wise Men, etc.
While the whole celebrity nativity is a bit goofy and questionable, what I found completely repelling was the response from the Vatican:
“You cannot use contemporary personalities as the central figures of the Nativity … And it becomes worse, if that were possible, if the people may be of questionable moral standing.”
The implication here is that everyone at the original scene 2,000 years ago was of high moral standing. The Christ child certainly was (and I suppose if you’re Catholic you might think Mary was, but let’s not argue about that). But the rest of ‘em are all sinful humans, just like the rest of us.
Churches do a disservice when their public relations drip with moral superiority. That’s a good way to turn people away from your church when you’ve been presented with an opportunity to draw people in.
Sure the nativity is goofy, but rather than turn people off with your high and mighty attitude, why not say something that encourages people and draws them in? Why not at least encourage people to remember the real nativity and check the story out for themselves?