“Glad tidings of Great Joy”, the angel said. So, how does that work? Does it come because of the food, festivities, families, and fun? Does it come as we realise the darkening of the winter nights has turned back? Or is it the idea of a baby – a new life, a sign of hope for the world?
But when the expense of celebrating hurts, and when the break of dawn simply shows more clearly the darkness of our world, and when we question what sort of world a baby born today will live in, our joy is at best muted.
But the Angel announced great joy, so can we really accept ‘muted’? shouldn’t we expect an unalloyed joy that transcends everything else?
My prayer this Christmas is that we will see and experience the Great Joy that comes from recognising this baby is Immanuel, ‘God with us‘; and from putting our faith in this baby, Jesus, ‘God Saves‘; because the truly Great Joy is that God is (Col 1:19) reconciling the world to himself in Christ.