Christmas in Oman

Our thoughts are turning to Christmas. We have had one rather unusual one. We were in the Sultanate of Oman, living on the University Campus and very much enjoying life there, having been made welcome by University staff, students and the church where we worshipped regularly. The Sultan had allowed churches to be built and we went to the Protestant Church in Muscat. I loved worshipping there, looking at the plain glass window with the Good Shepherd etched on it with the desert beyond and hills rising blue-ish, purple and greys in the distance.

All nationalities worshipped there; those working at the University and in employment in and around Muscat.

A member of the congregation stood up and spoke, he said he was stopped en route to church by an Omani policeman. Wondering and rather fearful, he wound down his window and the policeman said ‘Happy Christmas’! Wondering and fearfulness: wondering can end in wonder – certainly at God’s gift and Jesus’ life and beauty all around. Fearfulness:  this year we have been and are fearful. May 2021 bring hope, peace, joy and an end to being fearful.

I will add that the other memorable bit to this Christmas was the fact we had Christmas lunch on a beach, with a camel bringing father Christmas!