On the surface, the Christmas story is about a child being born. That in itself is enough to make it a joyful story. There is much more to the Christmas story of course. Each of us can find a way to connect with the story and find joy in it.

There is the quiet personal joy of Mary, the mother of this child who despite such humble beginnings stirs heaven and earth.

There is the exuberant joy of the angels who sing praises at the birth announcement.

Other people in this story express wonder more than joy, but ultimately we would have to ascribe joy to them as well. The poor, uneducated shepherds and the wealthy educated magi both express their own sense of wonder. Somewhere in between these extremes is Joseph the carpenter who was also filled with wonder at the angelic visions he was given and the birth of the boy Jesus.

The story doesn’t get old. We can still be filled with wonder and joy as we think about the myriad of factors that make our own births unique. Many things had to come together to make us possible.

Then we can also have an effect on this world that goes well beyond our own lifetimes. This will be a source of joy when we are spreading acceptance, compassion and love to those around us.

My prayer for this Christmas is for people to know that they are loved and that they have found someone with whom they can give and receive love. If you have that then I know you will know Christmas joy every day.

Merry Christmas!

Pastor Phil