“My whole life in a bin bag.” Those words were spoken to me ten years ago in Carlisle when I was helping lead the flood relief work then.
Now the same streets are flooded again and a whole metre deeper. You can imagine the consequences.
Many others are homeless too, way down the housing lists, or priced out of the market, surfing sofas or fleeing war zones.
So when God himself comes into the very heart of our homelessness and hollowness, in all the vulnerability of a baby, he is saying something vital to us.
Let me explain. Another little baby is very special to me just now. We’ve got a new grandson Joseph. I’m besotted. He is a gift of love to us and draws love out of us, tiny as he is.
And in Jesus we encounter not just one child, but love itself, barely wrapped but of infinite worth. God making the first move, then helping us to love too.
Whoever you are and however you feel, even if everyone has let you down and you have nothing, still you are worth it, you are beloved, you are a child of God too. For ever. Full stop.
So if life feels to you like all wrapping and no gift, I’m praying that you will not just have a Happy Christmas, but sense that God is with you and for you, just as if you were by the crib itself.