As I read the passages allocated for today’s reading, the words that come to me are hope and trust. The psalm tells us God is our strong rock. It’s up to us to trust. God offers but we have to respond. “This is the day the Lord has made.” Now we need to “rejoice and be glad in it”. God has given us free choice. The Matthew passage is harder to understand. Despite the fact that God loves everyone there are consequences. As God loves us so we must love others. This is how God reaches out to the world, through those who have not only heard and seen but acted. Here we are back to the rock again. God is our rock if we are prepared to accept that. This is where the hard work comes in. If we only hear but do not act, God is not able to reach us. This seems a bit harsh. If God is all loving how will God let us go? We know God will never abandon us but we have to do our part. If we do not follow God’s way God cannot get through. So as we prepare ourselves for the birth of Christ at Christmas we can indeed be joyful. God is Trinity. God gives us life. God, incarnate in Jesus, shows us the way, sets us free and God the Holy Spirit enables us. Praise be to God.