Today we reach the end of our Advent musings for 2022 and are just hours away from celebrating Christmas in 2022. Christmas has always been a special time of year for me, inextricably linked to birthdays, for my uncle, mother, father and granddaughter all had or have birthdays in this Christmas week. My father, whose birthday was on Christmas Eve, was born a month early and always said it was because he couldn’t wait for Christmas! The joy of celebrating birthdays and Christmas has been a part of my life always; when my granddaughter was also born on Christmas Eve, the tradition was continued. I will be spending today celebrating with her.

Birthdays are times of celebration precisely because life is precious. Each of us is precious to God, known by Him and loved by Him (see Psalm 139 for a reminder that God made us and knows us inside out.) These truths are the foundation of joy. People matter so much to God that He sent His only Son to save us. (John 3:16) Even if you have no other reason to celebrate, no other reason for joy, this truth is reason to rejoice today and throughout the rest of our lives. God made you special and loves you so much He sent His Son to bring you back into a relationship with Him.