‘Joy to the World’ is one of the most uplifting Carols sung during the Christmas season. This 18th Century rousing Hymn tells of the whole of creation celebrating and being uplifted by the news of the birth of Jesus not in a Palace but in a stable in Bethlehem, an unexpected place. Instead of focusing on the particular characters in the Christmas story ‘Joy to the World’ celebrates that this event is good news for the whole earth.
During this strange season, we are paradoxically both more disconnected and connected than ever before. With the growth of Omicron, we are already seeing an increase in restrictions and the need to keep physical distances, including restrictions of travel to other countries increasing. Yet, at the same time, we are aware that this is a global effort, that our fight against Covid-19 is one we are taking on as a human race. Whilst we are not connecting with our families, work colleagues and friends face to face as much, we are able to connect through digital tools in increasingly innovative and quicker ways with many more people than ever before.
Here at YMCA St Paul’s Group, we have a vision of thriving young people and flourishing communities. Being joyful is a part of thriving and flourishing – it is about finding good news in unexpected places and knowing that this good news is for the whole earth. With this in mind, on behalf of everyone at YMCA St Paul’s Group, I wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year season, hoping and praying that it too brings you much Joy.
Richard James, CEO
YMCA St Paul’s Group