The Natwivity is Twitter-based endeavour masterminded by the lovely people at Share Creative in which they will be retelling the Nativity story with a daily tweet throughout December.
The Nativity is a well-known story that is celebrated in churches up and down the land during the Christmas period and it is under the auspices of this story that non-Christians feel obliged to tick their ‘annual church attendance’ box. As such, it’s familiarity amongst believers and non-believers alike make it the perfect Bible story to chart over 140 characters as we follow the antics of the shepherds, the angels and the Inn-Keeper whose rejected planning permission application sees him ferrying the parents of the Saviour of the World into a barn with no air-conditioning or mini-bar.
It has been a project which has been well-received by many with Share Creative even getting to also publicised the event on BBC Radio 2.
The project has been expertly conceived with all sorts of effort put in to support the narrative which begins in earnest on December 1st.
There have been additions of peripheral characters with their own hastily created Twitter bios:
And a few warm-up tweets to remind us that the story doesn’t just start on December 1st:
There was also a ‘census’ on the Natwivity facebook site for fans to sign/join which was a knowing nod to King Herod’s (hopefully the Facebook list will not then be used for a register for a mass genocide!). All of which has created a rich experience for those who have got involved already in the run-up to December 1st.
A pertinent question that arises however is is it possible to incorporate the significance – both theologically and historically – of Christ’s birth in less than 140 characters?
A great post by Richard Littledale – who is also involved in the project – niftily repudiates any charges by naysayers that the Natwivity may be “theological reductionism” in its grossest form. My own thoughts on the matter are wholeheartedly supportive. Brevity does not always equal ineffectualism – I’m a big fan of using Twitter as a means to spread the Gospel and quality Christian content. Furthermore, in this age of increasingly short attention spans, brevity is the most effectual. There is also good Biblical precedent for brevity, Jonah famously converted 120,000 people in the town of Nineveh with just eight words! Showerman.
For those who are interested in following and joining in, please check out more on the official Natwivity site. If you’re one for spectactor sports, you can follow the unfurling of the Natwivity by checking out the #natwivity hashtag.