A billboard sponsored by a local Anglican church that shows Joseph and Mary in bed has set tongues wagging in New Zealand, with the Catholic Church condemning it as others found it funny.
The controversial billboard, erected by St Matthew-in-the-City Church in Auckland, shows a dejected-looking Joseph under bedcovers beside a sad Mary. Underneath the image, a caption reads: “Poor Joseph. God is a hard act to follow.”
Church archdeacon Glynn Cardy said the billboard was intended to lampoon the literal interpretation of the Christmas conception story and highlight the real significance of the festival.
“What we’re trying to do is to get people to think more about what Christmas is all about,” Cardy told local media.
“Is it about a spiritual male God sending down sperm so a child would be born, or is it about the power of love in our midst as seen in Jesus?”