Christmas parties (or things that weren't technically parties) that should never have been, disingenuous defences, evasiveness and U-turns, apparent disregard of rules that so many of us felt compelled to follow at great cost. It is easy to assess the government’s behaviour portrayed in the headlines of recent weeks and feel disappointed, bitter and angry.

At least, I hope I’m not the only one who is inclined to feel that way. Particularly as concerns around Covid once again begin to rise, along with anxieties about the effect it will have as we come closer to Christmas.

I will steer clear of offering you political assessments and forecasts, but instead, as some doom and gloom threatens to infringe upon our festive season, I want to offer you three unshakable, unchanging reasons for joy. 

Jesus is not surprised by the darkness


Over the last two years, the darkness of our broken world has been difficult to ignore: whether it’s been political scandals exposed, violence and hatred poisoning communities, sickness threatening beyond our doors, or freedoms taken and suddenly reinstated, bringing anxiety and division. Many of us have experienced deep grief as loved ones have been taken and the impossibly awful reality of death tells us more than anything else that this world is not as it should be. 

Jesus sees the darkness, and it does not surprise Him – although it grieves His heart too. When Jesus entered our world as a baby, He entered our darkness. He understands and has felt the pain that we know today. He has known, first-hand, abuse of power, injustice, violence, fear and the death of loved ones. Jesus can empathise with us in every way, and He invites us to approach Him with confidence (Hebrews 4:15 – 16). Whatever we are facing, however we are hurting, Jesus offers ears to listen and arms to comfort. 

Jesus shines in the darkness

As the days have grown increasingly shorter, I am tempted to turn on the lights of our Christmas tree earlier and earlier. The darker it gets, the more beautiful those lights become, lighting up the gloom of a British winter. 

The darkness of our world has no hold on Jesus. Time and time again we see in the gospels that where others would touch someone ceremonially unclean and become unclean themselves, Jesus’ holiness, perfection and beauty are far more powerful. Those who touch Him take on His wholeness, becoming clean and holy. If anything, the darkness only serves to draw attention to His glorious light. 

Jesus says, I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness,” (John 12:46), so let’s pray for our friends this Christmas, that in the darkness of the world they would be drawn to the light of Jesus Christ. Pray that they would see His goodness and desire to know Him and find salvation from the darkness of brokenness and sin. 

Jesus has overcome the darkness

Whatever darkness we are facing, we as Christians must never lose hope in our beautiful saviour. We do not need to worry about injustice reigning or the bad guys winning, or sickness and death ruling our lives. We feel, as we should, the heartache of a world in darkness, but remember that the ending to the story is already decided. 

The wonderful truth is that Christmas is really all about Easter. Jesus came into the world to make His dwelling among us, lived among us, revealed Himself to us and gave Himself over to death, in order to utterly destroy it. Jesus tore through the darkness with a brilliant light and, the darkness has not overcome it.”(John 1:5)! Death is defeated – that is how our story ends. 

So this Christmas, when you see Jesus in the manger, I encourage you to remember Jesus on Easter Sunday morning. Our risen, glorious, King of light. 

"The wonderful truth is that Christmas is really all about Easter."