Peace on earth

And the angel said to them “Fear not; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be unto all people. For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a saviour, which is Christ the Lord.

And this will be a sign to you, yea shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger. And suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, saying;

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill towards men.

Luke 2v 8-14

I can imagine Mary’s delight and relief that she has safely delivered her baby. Not a clean and shiny, white coat protected, birth provided by the NHS. The labour of a first time Mum, with no mention of midwives, sisters or friends.

I have more respect for Mary these days. Yet I’m fairly sure that as soon as Mary held her baby much of the trauma of the previous few hours will have been forgotten and replaced with joy. A joy shared and celebrated by the angels who sang praises to our God.

In our own small way we’ve been sharing in that joy today.

Treasuring it in our hearts, just like Mary did. Full of wonder that so many years later we still think about that little baby. That little baby who grew so wise and knowledgeable and taught the world how to live as God intended.

Not because our lives are perfect. Our celebrations are flawed, strange customs develop.

Mis-matched Christmas trees, forgotten presents, tired children.

We want to share in the perfect and most precious promises of the Lord Jesus.

So, we gather our families close, give presents, eat food and tell stories of that little baby.