Advent is a time of waiting and expectation, as the possibility of revelation and revolution slowly dawns – the birth of a new era in Christ, challenging the religious, social and political assumptions of the governing empire.
Most nativity plays usually feature the local Sunday school, but this year a Church of Scotland minister and a Roman Catholic priest have enlisted the help of police officers, fire fighters, council leaders and even the Kilmarnock football team.
The Anglican Church in South Africa's KwaZulu-Natal province has awarded its Order of the Holy Nativity to the head of a shack-dwellers' movement for being a "beacon of dignity and hope" in standing against injustice.
In spite of its many weals and woes, life has meaning and purpose expressed through our experience of love and creativity. That is the message of Christmas to humanity, Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams says.
As church leaders throughout Britain put the final flourishes on their Christmas messages this morning, a Welsh Christian figurehead is focussing on the practical side of the gospel message of hope - respect for creation through recycling.
Supporters of the US- and Canadian-based international conflict transformation organisation Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) - now known worldwide as a result of the 2005-6 hostage crisis in Iraq - have been challenging the prevalence of war toys through nonviolent actions at a well known retailer.