And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord. [Luke 2:10—11]

Good news. Good news of great joy. For all people. The simple and wonderful truth for us today and every day is that the Christ child brings good news of great joy for us to access at any time. If I only reflect on 2019 news shared during the relentless 24/7 news cycle, in most part, I struggle to find, and feel, good. I don’t need to recount some of what we have experienced as a community, as a country, as a people this year; I know from the weary looks on friends’, family’s and colleagues’ faces that this is true not just for me.

But Scripture lays it out for us plain and simple. The good news is God has made a way in Christ for us to have a relationship with Him. Regardless of what we hear or see in our day-to-day lives, “Emmanuel,” means we can access the good news of a close relationship with the maker of the heavens and the earth, in our hearts, at any time. This simple truth should bring us great joy. Should cast out fear. And should fuel our spirit from one day to the next.

For God has not come to condemn the world but has come in the flesh to close the gap between us and Him. In the quietness of our homes, in the troubles we face, in our relationships with one another, we mustn’t grow weary of the news of the world, but find great joy in the truth of our redemption through Christ who came to serve, love and draw us close.

Father God, help me to receive the Good news of Christ into the farthest corners of my heart, that I may abound in joy and love, and live as a new creation that can pour out into the world as Jesus did. Help me to deepen this understanding, to call upon it when I am low, and to trust in your goodness for my life. Amen.