And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord.” —Luke 2:8-11
The word ‘joy’ is a word used a lot during Christmas. Carols like ‘Joy to the World’ are sung and we hang decorations with ‘joy’ written across them on our Christmas trees.
The reality is that for many people, Christmas can be a really difficult time. If you’ve lost a loved one or you are going through illness or hardship, it’s easy to feel far from joyful while everyone else seems to be celebrating. But I want to encourage you to remember that the good news of Jesus’ birth was promised to bring great joy for “all the people”. My prayer is that even in the midst of sorrow and hard days, you will experience the joy and peace that comes from knowing Jesus.
During Christmas, I am also reminded about the joy that your support brings to children living in poverty. When a child first finds out they are sponsored, when they receive a letter from their sponsor and then a gift for Christmas—these moments bring so much joy to children living in poverty. A joy that wouldn’t be possible without you, their sponsors. I want to thank you for your support this year. Thank you for caring, loving and bringing joy to the children in Compassion’s programs.
As you spend time with your loved ones, I hope you and your family have a joyful and safe Christmas. This year has been an inspiring one; through your support, we’ve seen so many children discover the joy and hope that comes from being known, loved and protected by the local church and Compassion’s programs. I am excited to continue partnering with you in 2015 as we release children from poverty in Jesus’ name.