No matter which way you look at it 2020 has been a tough year. The Coronavirus has come on top of droughts and fires and floods. And then I haven’t even mentioned the “normal” struggles of ordinary everyday life: sickness, unpaid bills, family hassles … and the list goes on.

So, how do we manage to cope with life when things fall apart all around us?

Two young parents one night tucked their little daughter into bed, kissed her good-night and switched off the light.

After a little while there came a tiny voice from the bedroom: “Daddy, I’m scared in the dark … can you come and sit with me?”

The Daddy called back from the lounge: “Don’t be frightened, little one, God is there and He’s watching over you.”

After a while she called again and said: “Daddy, I’m scared… I want you to come and look after me.” Again he called back: “Darling, God is everywhere and He’s there in your bedroom caring for you.”

She replied: “Daddy, I’m still scared … I need someone here with skin on …!”

Next week we celebrate Christmas and Christmas reminds us that Jesus Christ is God Almighty with skin on.

He’s someone far greater than us, someone who is our ever-present help in every kind of trouble. Because He’s God with skin on He’s also someone just like us who understands our every need.

That’s why one of the names of Jesus is Immanuel, which means “God with us”. Christmas – whatever else it may mean for you – is about God in human form!

Someone has said that trusting in God in times of trouble, is like believing in an invisible make-believe friend.

The Christmas story highlights that the benefits of trusting in the Christ-child are not make-believe. The results of forgiveness, peace, eternal life, and comfort in our troubles are things you can stake your life on.

From the Narrabri Ministers’ Fraternal we wish you a blessed Christmas celebration.

(Rev) John Westendorp

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