This year I made a new advent calendar with a Nancy Halverson panel project.  It has 24 parts and characters of the Christmas story and each one has a button.  You hang them each day until Christmas when the whole story is revealed.  But the whole story has already been revealed!  I couldn’t wait I just kept them all up because I like the effect of the whole picture.

The banner over the whole thing says “Good Tidings of Great Joy”.  That is so true.  Jesus brought good tidings of great joy to the world.  How can I say that when there are all kinds of troubles in this world?  God showed love to us in this, that He sent His one and only son to us!  Can you imagine?  I don’t have my own children but even the thought of sending my nephew away is heart wrenching.  Imagine living in Canada and sending your son to live in a 3rd world country or to a place like the slums of India.  Imagine if you loved the people in India so much that would would give your son, not as an adult, but to be born as a baby in a place where there is no running water, no electricity, where the sewers run in the streets and most people live is tiny tin shelters.  Your son would grow up there and live in those conditions and then when he was finally of age to start helping them he allowed them to attack him and murder him in the worst way possible because that was the only way to save them.  That is only a tiny fraction of what Jesus did for us and a hint of how much the Father loved us to send us his son to save us! 
That is what Christmas is to me.  Not just a nice nativity story, but knowing the I have a Father who loves me exceedingly beyond what I can imagine and He gave me His Son as a ransom for my life.  His son, Jesus, who is my bridegroom, whom I will wait expectantly for and hope His in love and the knowledge that He is returning to show the world that He is the King of Kings!    That is the good tidings of GREAT joy!  Jesus brings a joy and a peace that is beyond my understanding… I pray that you too will find this joy, this Christmas.  

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