“In those days, Justin Trudeau issued a decree that thousands of Syrian refugees would arrive in Canada over the Christmas holidays (something to do with “Sunny ways!” – he better not be in the Caribbean sun right now).”

Kelly’s phone woke us up this morning, beeping as emails arrived. They were Notice of Arrival Transmissions. Two more families are landing just after Christmas. In our weakened vulnerable state, with very little holiday prep done, with other families on the ground needing help, we felt like crying (well, Kelly did – I felt like saying words that aren’t in the hymn book).

Then we read today’s passage about an inconvenient government edict, a long ill-timed journey, an inefficient process at the other end, zero accommodations available, a barn (doable – even romantic – for a young engaged couple but dangerous for delivering a baby), cloths instead of a little blue sleeper, a feed trough for a cradle.

Could things get any more chaotic and crude and wearisome? (None of this was going according to Mary’s Baby Planner). Yes, they could. A bunch of angel-shocked shepherds arrived (Mary was more in the mood for her mother about then). They said some amazing things about the baby and left praising God. Mary was left treasuring and pondering and looking at her newborn – The Saviour?! The Messiah?! The Lord?!

Would he show up at such a time, in such a place, amidst such people? Are you sure? “Yes,” said the shepherds, “In fact, the feeding trough sealed it – it was the sign.”

Are things a bit of a mess in your life and world? Sounds like the conditions are right and ripe for a Saviour and Lord to join you. Thank you, God, that the gospel is not about us coming to you but you coming to us.