The best communication ever: God with us

20 December, 2013 — 7 Comments

The city I live in is recovering from a series of earthquakes that began three years ago. It’s a long slow grind. Earthquakes damage a city’s infrastructure, such as roads, and the sewers and water pipes that are mostly hidden deep below the road surface. Christchurch post-earthquakes has been riddled with orange road cones to highlight damage and repairs in progress. In June last year there were 100,000 road cones in Christchurch, worth more than $3 million. A day doesn’t go by without seeing many of them, they are a part of life here.


This photo is a simple nativity scene made of road cones. Local artist Pete Majendie from the Side Door Arts Trust has placed this pregnant Mary and Joseph upon a pile of rubble on the corner of a busy intersection. The pile of rubble was once an historic church building.

The best example of communication

I think one of the best examples of communication ever was the mysterious Creator God sending part of Godself to become human. What better way to communicate with humans than to be a human?!

The Incarnation.
God with us.

Have you seen any contemporary nativity scenes that resonate with your local context?

It’s possible to post photos in the comments below – it would be great to see some other nativity scenes and to hear your thoughts on how these might affect The Message in your location.

My hope for Christmas

I also want to make this post an opportunity to thank you, readers of my blog, and to hope a Christmastime for you that shows signs of inspiration because God chose to communicate in such a radical way as becoming human.

Gloria in excelsis Deo! 1

Image: Road cone nativity by Pete Majendie, photo by Mike Crudge.



  1. Glory to God in the highest!
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  • Jeannie Cochrane

    Hi Mike I really appreciate your blog and find your posts thought provoking. I often wish I could write an intelligent comment or ask a relevant question- maybe next year I will be more courageous in doing these things! I look forward to you sharing more of your research findings next year. May the truth and hope of the incarnation continue to be your portion as you journey forward.

    • Thanks Jeannie! I’m glad you’ve been reading, and yes, I hope you get courageous and share more of what’s on your mind – maybe even start your own blog!?

  • kate

    Hi Mike – like Jeannie, I have appreciated your blogs this year and have been an occasional commenter! May I wish you a Christmas full of joy amidst the rush and busyness that it’s hard not to get caught up in and may you continue doing what you do so well – living a life that honours our God.

  • Loren

    Thanks mike for your work in connecting church and society. I wrote a long response to a post a few weeks back, and then lost it when my account went AWOL. I hope you continue to search for the keys, and I hope to find time to comment!

    • Thanks Loren! Shame about the loss of your long post response – I look forward to anything you’re able to share in the future. Happy Christmas!

  • DrDon

    Thanks Mike – your picture (and background information) communicates to me a focus on two people standing on the rubble of what unfortunately is the focus of much of Christianity today – buildings and other material gains. Maybe God sees fancy church buildings and edifices (and what we do in these buildings) as nothing but rubble? Yet should the focus even be on the two people, or should it be on the baby bump? Why is she pregnant?
    To answer your question, I have just returned from a Christmas away from home and remembered a nativity scene we saw on our journey. The scene was simple – a doll wrapped in a simple blanket lying on the ground with a donkey standing nearby. To me, the donkey focussed the scene on the Christmas baby, so that the baby was the central and only focus. You see, nothing else but God’s present of himself (and what he did on earth and continues to do for us), matters. Are we prepared to accept God’s love gift, ‘unwrap the present’ for ourselves, and keep our focus on His present? Is the message that the Christian Church communicates to the world this simple message of God’s love? Does anything else matter?