I’ve written before that Christmas is a very special time of year for me.  I became a Christian as an adult in November 1984.  So the lead up to Christmas that year was particularly memorable.  The wonder of the incarnation (God becoming human and living among us) astonished me then.  And it continues to astonish me year after year.

In the time leading up to Christmas, the Advent themes of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love can focus our thoughts on the implications of this miracle of the incarnation. 

If God in Jesus can give up the glory and majesty of heaven and humble Himself by living in modest circumstances on Earth.  And then to live a perfect life and die in order to bring salvation to mankind, then the promises of Hope, Peace, Joy and Love can be real, not just concepts:

· Hope can be real hope – hope for today and bright hope for tomorrow whatever our circumstances

· Peace can be real peace – peace of mind, not just the absence of hostilities

· Joy can be real joy – a reality that changes our perspective and encourages others

· Love can be real love – Agape love, Charity – selfless, sacrificial, unconditional love

Part of the Church’s mission on Earth is to live our lives such that others will want to follow Jesus too.  Jesus is God’s gift to us – for Hope, Peace, Joy and Love.  But ultimately for salvation – eternal life.

John 3:16 (NIV) says: For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

To receive God’s gift, you need to believe in Him and trust what he says.  Will you do this today?

May God who made you bless you this Christmas with a fresh understanding of how much he loves you and yearns for you to love and trust Him and to pass that love onto others.