Joy to the world, the Lord is come! Let earth receive her King; Let every heart prepare him room, and heaven and nature sing.
-- "Joy to the World," words are by English hymn writer Isaac Watts, based on Psalm 98.
It may be difficult this Christmas to think about joy and glad tidings. The horrific tragedy in Connecticut still fresh in our minds, it is impossible to comprehend why 26 innocent lives were ended so senselessly. It's heartbreaking to know so many families will not feel the joy of the season, will not have memories to treasure.
But it is to faith that we can turn, to get us through the holiday, and the future. For Christians, the event of Christmas provides strength at such times.
"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 Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.'" -- Luke 2:10-11
Every December, Christians rejoice in the birth of Jesus of Nazareth, who is worshipped as the son of God and their Savior, sent to Earth to save us from our sins, to live among us as love incarnate.
The Bible tells us the angels trumpeted his arrival to the shepherds and heavenly signs called the Magi, who came in wonder of the son of God.
During Christmastime, candles are lit, carols are sung, families are gathered and gifts are exchanged. It is a time of peace marked by the sense of wonder that for Christians, this Christ child was born as a sign of God's love.
While our hearts are breaking for the families in Connecticut -- and for any family dealing with a loss -- during this holiday season, Christians celebrate the light of God's gift that can guide through the difficult days ahead and give us the feeling of being wrapped in His arms and loved.
Merry Christmas and wishes for a Blessed New Year.