Christmas is a blockbuster way to begin the story of Jesus’ arrival on earth. It is packed with drama: an angel visits the unlikely mother-to-be to announce the pregnancy; the couple overcome a brief crisis of homelessness as she goes into labour; more angels sing in the sky like a firework display to some shepherds; star-following international VIPs acknowledge the special birth with gifts; and the new family just escapes the massacre of babies by an enemy. In this absorbing story, we can’t wait for what happens next.

But what happens next is… nothing. The hero of our story goes ‘underground’. For about 30 years(!) we hear nothing of this special Messiah. In our instant-gratification society, that seems unthinkable – a missed opportunity to build momentum. But that’s what happened. The Messiah was learning to be ordinary. And out of this experience, he developed the empathy and understanding that would be crucial for his life and work among us. Good things take time.

So, I hope you enjoy your Christmas-New Year break. But when it’s over, and you head ‘back to the grind’, remember that the ordinary moments of your life are no less important than the highlights. God is with you in ALL the moments, and I’m sure He would want to remind you: good things take time, and you are worth every second.