Lord God, may we your people, who look forward to the birthday of Christ, experience the joy of salvation and celebrate that feast with love and thanksgiving. We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever, Amen.
Just as the angel appeared in the night sky to give shepherds reason for joy, Jesus also used a dark moment to offer His disciples reason for hope on the other side of His suffering and their confusion. What they didn't yet know would only be revealed in time. Christ's death was a loving Father's way of reconciling a rebel world to Himself. The despair of that night was necessary so that, three days later, a reason for hope now, and fullness of joy later, could be offered to all (v. 33).
Take the joy of Christmas with you every day.
What is done for Christ in this life will be rewarded in the life to come.