Don’t be robbed of your joy Sun 13th Dec 15

The week before last, Tracey and I had seven days away in the Lake District. Due to the horrendous weather, we spent much of the time we had in café’s and coffee shops, rather than up on the hills. As you can imagine, the streets were festooned with lights and all of the shop windows were advertising their wares in time for the Christmas rush. Having left on the Friday, we were saddened to see that the following day, the skies again and torrential rain ensued. Indeed as we watched the news, it was tragic to witness the Christmas trees that we supped latte next to could now be seen floating down the high-street!

The question I would like to ask then is, what do those people in the Lake District, who have been flooded out and whose possessions are now piled high on the pavement have to celebrate this Christmas? The answer, I believe, is the same as you and I. This Christmas they too can celebrate ‘Immanuel, God with us’. Now, I do not want to be glib, or to minimise people loss. But, I am convinced that this good news is of such worth that it cannot be lessened by life’s tragedies. Indeed the opposite is true. Therefore as we face traumatic circumstances, difficult situations or serious diagnosis, this ‘good news of great joy’ becomes ever sweeter and all the more essential!

With this in mind, I want to encourage you that whether you are going through an unparalleled time of blessing or one of unimaginable struggle, do not be robbed of your joy in Jesus this Christmas time.

Yours, Gareth