Politics in the UK is awash with discord, dissention, and disgusting hypocrisy at leadership level.

The world is awash with fear surrounding Covid as omicron reportedly runs rampant while politicians and scientists attempt to help nations cope. Pity they are not also working to alleviate fears.

As Christmas approaches many are still homeless, hopeless, or just struggling to make ends meet.

Addicts will still be seeking their fix. Children will still be exploited. Life, with it’s evident dark side, goes on regardless.

Where is the hope? Where is the ‘peace on earth’? Is it sticking our heads in the sand to sing ‘joy to the world’ while all around us there is such pain and suffering, anxiety and fear?

I want to a shout it out that it is important to keep on seeking hope and joy. In my experience the depth of hope and joy can only really be found in the margins.

Born into discomfort in the margins

Jesus, born in a backstreet stable.

Jesus, crucified on a cross outside the city walls.

Jesus, seeking hearts to heal and loves to restore today and every day.

Jesus grew up in the margins!

He was born into a negative political situation where the Jews were under the oppression and occupation of the Roman Empire, governed by a king who was willing to kill a generation of children. He was visited by rough shepherds who had to sleep rough in the fields as they watched over other peoples’ sheep.

Those same shepherds met with Jesus in a stable, and they worshipped him. And as they did, their hearts were filled with joy. They praised God and testified that the king had come; a saviour was born; and there was a reason to sing praise again.

When all around you is crumbling and feels hopeless, sing out. Sometimes in the singing we find salvation, solutions, and something to hope for. Make a joyful noise. It doesn’t even need to be tuneful! We all find ourselves at times in anxiety or heightened stress with life’s circumstances at some point. I know the current reality of that statement, and I’m sure many of us reading do too. It’s not easy to sing, praise, or worship when life is pear shaped. But it is one aspect of moving to a healthier space. It links with gratitude, and reframing our situations. When the shepherds heard the angels sing, and later when they met with Jesus, something changed within them.

May we meet with Jesus today, whatever our circumstances.

May the people of God sing their praise to God about joy to the world, and as we do may we act with hearts, hands and feet of love to bring that joy, love hope and peace to those loving and struggling in the margins.


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