On New Year's Eve last year some of us spent some time praying and worshiping together asking God what he had to say for the next year.Joy was one of the things that a few of us each felt that he wanted to give us, show us, teach us how to walk in and how to fight for. I've remembered that at different times throughout this past year and as the year comes to a close there is a part of me which would say I haven't done the best job at that this year. It has been a year filled with hard circumstances, hard stories - some in y life, but many in the lives of the children and families I love.
But people, it's Christmas! and really we should, for this reason, have Christmas all year round: "joy to the world, the Lord has come. Let earth receive her King . . . Peace on earth and mercy mild, God and sinner reconciled. Joyful all ye nations rise! Join the triumph of the skies . . . Pleased as man with man to dwell, Jesus our Emmanuel.
And we are celebrating his birth as a humble baby who from the start was turning things upside down and not coming as the mighty King everyone expected. That little baby being born in a stable was made a little more real to me a few years ago when I got my boys who were actually living in a stable of sorts. His coming as a baby is greatly significant. He came to save, but he also lived among us and showed us how even in a broken world desperately needing him we can have love and be loved and believe in hope, peace and joy because he came to be amongst us. Emmanuel.