The Official Writing Challenge
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I REALLY liked this. The tie of "no room" for Joseph and Mary in Bethlehem and that we have no room for Him in our lives today is a great reminder for us all. I also love your family tradition!
11/03/08
You asked for objective criticism so I'm going to be bold here. I think there are 2 things that don't work in this piece. The first is the sudden jump from the homely tradition of moving the Mary and Joseph figures around the house, to the moral message. When you bring it back at the end to the Mary and Joseph figures the writing has moved too far away from them for the reader's mind to get back there.
Secondly the moral message itself is rather negative and leads to feelings of guilt. These may be genuine or false, but they are almost impossible to resist. It needs a more positive thread somewhere.
I hope this helps you in your writing.
The message is clear, yet sad and needs hope brewing by the end. I'm not sure how this could be accomplished though.
The mechanics are well done though.
11/05/08
Contrary to the other comments, I found this entry to be fully hope-filled and positive, for it is the best thing of all that Christ is willing to STILL enter into our sin-stained lives and bring His wholly pure and loving grace with Him! That's the whole point of the stable...a symbol of what He was coming to rescue US from. This is such a unique and carefully thought-out entry, that it simply blows me away with its depth of understanding. Don't change a thing about your style--I love it and always have. You never fail to make me THINK, and I, for one, appreciate that greatly in a writer. I need to be sure and read your stuff regularly! (Sorry I have been so absent in the Challenge reading lately... I can see what I have been missing!)