Does Christmas bring you joy?

Joy to the World is what Christmas is about – delightful, overflowing joy. Trying to write about this kind of joy is like trying to empty a swimming pool with a teaspoon. Joy is hard to write about because it keeps bubbling up and over and can’t be contained by a few words on a page. It needs to be shared, or shouted, or best of all SUNG!

Singing carols is the bubbling over of the most joyous event history has ever seen. Carols can take us into that silent night; to the wisemen and a star of wonder; to the shepherds while they watched their flocks, while the heavens exploded with the first noel; then to Royal David’s city, where the most amazing thing happened:

He came down to earth from heaven,

Who is God and Lord of all,

And his shelter was a stable,

And his cradle was a stall.

Within these few words the most precious truths of all are contained – it’s hard not to want to sing them! God himself, in the person of JESUS came down to save us and was found in the most humble of places.

But perhaps you come to this Christmas time burdened, weary and fearful and this joy seems to have passed you by – and you wouldn’t be the first. Maybe life is a little dark and you are wondering where light can be found? Perhaps the writer of O little town of Bethlehem was thinking of you:

Yet in thy dark streets shineth

The everlasting light;

The hopes and fears of all the years

Are met in thee tonight.

There was certainly one person thinking of you on that Christmas night. God himself sent Jesus to you so all our hopes and fears might be met in him and that you might know something of this great joy to the world.

Simon Chaplin