So what do you make of the Christmas story of Jesus' birth. Myth? Legend? History? Fiction? Faction? Apologetic narrative? Your conclusion doesn't bother me that much - it's up to you. It's certainly possible to have the highest possible understanding of Jesus' divinity without mentioning the nature of his birth (as Paul does in Philippians 2:5-11 for instance).
I do love the unifying nature of statements that are acceptable to those either side of the debate though, so this, which came today, is immensely good:
'Supremely, when Jesus was born, a vast and immeasurable act of love was initiated by God to save a lost humanity. We did not earn this love, we do not deserve it, and we are left to exclaim:
''Praise the Lord, my soul. I will praise the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God as long as I live’ (Psalm 146:1-2).
(John Lee, in the London Institute of Contemporary Christianity's weekly mailing, commenting on the enduring popularity of Leonard Cohen's song Hallelujah.)
Happy Advent 4. Can you do all four candles with one ordinary match? Children's activity perhaps?