As we enter the Gospel narrative hopes & dreams are dashed left, right & centre.
Joseph discovers his beloved young bride is pregnant, and he is not the father.
Mary gives a quite remarkable answer to the angel Gabriel on the announcement of her pregnancy - "I am the Lord's servant, may it be as you have said"
- but no woman dreams of giving birth in a dingy manger, estranged from family.
Or what about Herod? He was disappointed by the potential arrival of a new king. So terrified that his power would be usurped, he ordered the brutal murder of hundreds/thousands of baby boys in a mad fury.
What about the parents of these children? What of their hopes & dreams for these beautiful, energetic little boys, just discovering this world & savagely removed from it?
The Christmas story is horrific. It is distasteful. Even offensive. And yet it is Good News. How?
John grasps this as he writes from first hand experience of Jesus Christ "in Him was life and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not overpowered it."
Perhaps there are unmet expectations & great disappointments in your life at the moment. Perhaps horrific things have happened to you like that first Christmas.
Real hurt & disappointment is to be unveiled, not buried deep, but my prayer for you this year is that you would know the light of the world breaking into your darkness & obliterating it. He is waiting to come in, if you will but open the door & receive Him.