Reading (Ephesians 1:15-23)
For this reason, because I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love towards all the saints, I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers, that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of him, having the eyes of your hearts enlightened, that you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power towards us who believe, according to the working of his great might that he worked in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come. And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Yesterday was ‘Blue Monday’, a phrase that refers to how many people feel down or ‘blue’ at about this time of year, especially on a Monday when they return to work after the weekend. During December many people were excited as we had the build up to Christmas, with that sense of anticipation around seeing friends and family and the giving and receiving of presents. For many non-Christians that is all that Christmas represents. Watching a nativity play and singing carols are nothing more than a nice story and a chance for a good sing. Once the celebrations of Christmas Day were over people looked forward to another celebration at New Year and there was yet more anticipation around how things would be different in 2022. Around the middle of January comes Blue Monday, when all the excitement and anticipation of Christmas and New Year have passed and, for many people, life feels as if nothing has changed, all is just as it always was and everything is very dull and rather mundane.
As it happened, yesterday was anything but a dull day as far as the weather was concerned as it was beautiful; after a cold and frosty start we had the most glorious day and the only thing that was blue about it was the sky. But for many people, after all the excitement of the Christmas period, a blue sky would not be enough to give them a feeling of hope and without an understanding and appreciation of the true meaning of Christmas they are left feeling blue.
For Christians, the celebration of Christmas is all about celebrating Christ coming into the world and that is not affected by the weather, or what presents we received or what the date on the calendar is. We know that Jesus came into the world and that when he left the world he left us with the Holy Spirit so that we are never alone but we have God with us at all times. This does not mean that we will not go through difficult times, for we certainly will, but we always have hope in Jesus and the assurance of God with us.
Prayer (Romans 15:13)
May the God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit we may abound in hope.