Behold, I tweet glad tidings

by
15 December 2011

by Ed Beavan

CHRISTIANS are using the social-media site Twitter to re-tell the Christmas story in novel ways this year.

In Germany, a Twitter-user called Joseph von Nazareth is journalling the nativity story from the perspec­tive of Joseph. Describing himself as a “35-year-old third-generation car­penter from Nazareth”, he regularly updates the site with short descrip­tions from the Christmas story.

This week he started recounting the journey of Mary and Joseph to Bethlehem. In one of his 140-character tweets, he wrote: “Please note: my carpenter’s workshop is closed till January 1 because of census, we’re on company outing. Thanks for your understanding.”

The Bishop of Bradford, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, this week an­nounced the winners of his Christ­mas Twitter competition, in which he asked people to describe the mean­ing of Christmas in one tweet.

Bishop Baines said that he was impressed with the standard of entries, and that the winners had “all managed to articulate some­thing of the enduring significance of Christmas”.

His own tweet read: “Christmas is about God opting into the world in all its messiness and not exemp­ting himself from it — showing he is on our side, one of us.”

@joseph_von_naza
@nickbaines

The winning tweets:

More amazing than getting the whole Bible into a tweet — is God, who got all of himself into a man — Jesus.
The Revd John Hartley, Bradford

He came to visit and we were taken aback by the generosity of his gift. I keep meaning to invite him back.
Jane Barrett, Ilkley

The Invisible revealed, the Mystery made known, the Remote draws near and the Silent speaks, as Eternal becomes mortal and God comes to us.
Canon Andy Williams, Bradford Cathedral

The meaning of Christmas is an oxymoron — lowly pomp, servant king, light in the darkness, now and not yet, life in death.
Ruth Allison, Keighley

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