Joy to the world
I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete. John 15.11
For the economically fortunate, Christmas Eve is like an extended moment of anticipation: the Christmas tree is surrounded by intriguing packages, the larder is groaning with food and everyone is bursting with excitement. And then the big day arrives and, before you know it, is subsumed in a welter of indulgence and then... it's all over, for another year anyway.
How to transform the anticlimax? Joy! The gift of Jesus is both the climax of the Christmas story and the beginning of the never-ending story of new life and hope that he brings. At Christmas, keeping our focus where it belongs puts everything in perspective. We can still enjoy the trappings as a celebration of what, for the faithful, is undeniably good news - a child is born, who is the Saviour of the world - yet in the awareness that this is the beginning, not the end, of our joy.
May today be loaded with profound expectation, tonight with awe and tomorrow with a sense of gratitude. Followed by time to take it all in, to revel in the wonder of it all and to contemplate what it means, what must change, what new departures beckon, suffused in the awareness of God's presence - to guide and to bless: Immanuel.