Anticipated joy

This last week  Phil, Chris and I were privileged to hear a German theologian, Jürgen Moltmann,  as part of a Mission of the Mind day in Manchester. During a question and answer session he was asked what he would do differently if he were starting his career again (He’s 87 years old!) and I thought his answer was remarkable. He said he felt his early theology was too negative and “the older I get, the more positive I feel!”

His recent work perhaps explains this as he has been thinking and writing about hope, which he defined as “anticipated joy in God, life and love”. I suppose the nearer he gets to heaven the greater the light that shines from these things but what a wonderful combination of positives – hope, joy, God, life and love, –  a fabulous Christmas feast for us all to celebrate.

There’s always a lot to be cynical and critical about as the commercial spending machine gets up to full speed, but we mustn’t let that detract from the angel’s message of good news, joy and salvation. Don’t you think everyone in those classical paintings of the nativity looks a bit too serious?! Shouldn’t there be a bit more dancing and singing round the manger?

Christmas tells us that God has come to be with us, to give us hope, and eternal life, to demonstrate the amazing love God has for us and to put a joy in our hearts that will not be denied. Let that season the celebrations as we celebrate the season.

Yours in Jesus’ name,

                                                   Steve Rowley