Friday, 14 December 2018

Christmas Joy

Christmas is nearly upon us and this year as we have travelled through Advent at Harlow Baptist, we have been considering the Joy that is in the accounts of that first Christmas.

For God's people, there was the looking forwards to a time, some when in the future, that the Messiah, the Saviour sent by God, would appear and free them from tyranny and subjugation to other nations.

For Mary and Joseph there were serious issues related to fidelity, trust, supernatural goings on (Angels, Virgin pregnancies ...) and life being turned upside down by God's plans. But the baby, Jesus, they were told would save people, he was the Saviour long awaited.

For Elizabeth and Zechariah, the sorrow and sadness of coming to terms with being childless suddenly changed, by God, to give them a son, John, who would be a joy and a delight to them

Two miraculous births that signalled a change for the world, nothing ever the same again, because God had come among humanity with a plan to save us from our sin / wrong doing. A cause to be thankful and joyful.

Then there were the shepherds on the hillsides, frightened out of their wits by a visitation by Angels, singing and speaking to them, bright and awesome. The core of the message to them - was joy. Joy that a saviour had been born, joy that this was for them, This would be a saviour for the poor and helpless, the outcast and the rich and famous, a saviour for all, a cause to celebrate and rejoice.

Many will be celebrating this amazing set of events that occurred over 2000 years ago. While others will find Christmas a sad time, feeling the loss of loved ones, feeling lonely with no family or friends to share time with, feeling cold and wretched on the streets or in war zones. But one thing will never change, whatever our situation, God is with us and even when handling grief, sadness, poverty or loneliness, joy can be found if we can find the courage to call on Jesus.

I hope you have a happy and joyful Christmas whatever your situation I hope you enjoy this song ...