There is a lot of pain in the Christmas story, and yet overwhelmingly, it is story of great joy and celebration. There is the pain of poverty, the pain of a relationship under strain, the pain of political oppression, pain of childbirth, pain of being misunderstood, and pain of rejection. Most of us will be coming into this Christmas time aware of pain in our own lives or the life of someone we know.
The Christmas story is one of joy and celebration, even in the pain we face. For it is the story of God coming to our world in pain, a story of hope and salvation, a story of good news for the whole world, a story of good news for you and I.
The angel said to the shepherds (Luke 2:10,11) “Don’t be afraid, I bring you good news of great joy for all people, today in the city of David a Saviour has been born, he is Christ the Lord”.
The angel said to Joseph (Matthew 1:20,21) “Don’t be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, for what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit, She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins”.
No wonder that Christmas is associated with songs – the songs of the angels, the song of Mary, and the carols we sing. One of my favourite carols is Hark the Herald Angels Sing. In the first verse it says “Joyful all you nations rise, join the triumph of the skies, with angelic hosts proclaim, Christ is born in Bethlehem”.
I hope that our Candlelight Carol Services (at 6:30pm on 14th and 21st of Dec) and Kids’ Carol Service (at 3:30pm on 13th of Dec), as well as other church community gatherings, will help to demonstrate and communicate something of this wonderful Christmas message that is worth singing about. And if you are reading this while waiting for one of our carol services to start, thanks for coming to celebrate and sing with us.
May you know God’s blessing on you and those close to you this Christmas. If you are in Brighton you’d be welcome to our family service at 10:30am on Christmas morning . Hope you have a happy New Year too. Do join us in January as we seek to bring hope and light to our city. One of the ways we are doing that in the new year is by helping provide a night shelter for the homeless. If you would like to help with this you can sign up online.
My prayer this Christmas is that whatever pain or challenges you or those you know are facing at this time of year, reflecting on the Christmas story would help you know that there is hope and good news. A Saviour has come, someone to help us, Jesus Christ.
Enjoy your Christmas celebrations.