Where pigs meet dinosaurs – Advent in the church creche

By far, the best place to experience Advent during a church service is NOT in the sanctuary. If you really want to embrace the ‘uproar in bethleham’ – do some time in the nursery/creche. This is a shot taken whilst I was working in the 2 year old room last Sunday. Granted, the sanctuary was illuminated with candlelight, lovely evergreens adorning the pews, ect. It compels one toward lofty thoughts and inward stillness. But let’s get serious – how truly ‘contemplative’ was that uproar in Bethleham 2,000 years ago? I am sure screams and confusion was more authentic than handheld candles with cardboard drip protection guards whilst humming “Silent Night”. In the creche/nursery one find chaos, confusion, and the ever-present smell of poo and pee. Children feel lost, misunderstood, and comforted all within a 60 second time span. It is life on the floor – seeing kids at their level – that recalls that “beastial floor” Yeats overly romanticised.

Come to the creche all you who are heavy laden… there you will find chaos and peace dwelling as one as the pigs and dinosaurs…



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  1. Reading this reminds me of some unusual thoughts I had this Christmas. I’m Baptist, but I always go home to the Lutheran church with my family for holidays. I was sitting there with my nephews, my sister, mom and dad. As soon as the service started my seriously active nephews put their heads down like they were ready to go to sleep. I was dismayed. They’re 18 and 14, and recently I’ve sensed an openness to the gospel in the 18-year-old. But, you can’t tell him anything, ’cause he’s heard it all before. So, what does this have to do with you “Christmas reality in the church creche.” Well, in order to keep them awake , I guess, I got in this funny mood and started really listening and looking for the reality of Christmas. If you were Mary and Joseph, would you have ever put that newborn in a manger full of hay. I wouldn’t, I don’t think. I think I’d either go to sleep with the baby laying beside me or let Joseph hold him, but no way would that precious baby have ever felt the inside of that manger. This just occurred to me while we were singing “Away in a Manger.” Are we actually told that the baby was IN the manger? Maybe after he was a few days old, but not that night of his birth. But then, what do I know. I’ve never had a baby.

  2. carla – there are quite a few views on those “early days” of Jesus’ birth. Certainly the question regarding “did they really put the savior of the world in hay?” is one of the top questions for some folks. I like the story of your nephews… I suppose that sleep in a service of worship doesnt always mean disengaged though… “to sleep, perchance to dream” and whatnot…

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