CHRISTMAS is a season of contradictions. I mean we can have some wonderful memories of past times, while living through a nightmare.
It can just hit you when you least expect it. The smell of cinnamon, Christmas tree lights and carols can all remind of us someone who is no longer here. We feel the churning of the stomach as we remember what has been lost.
Perhaps, the first Christmas was more about stomachs churning than stomachs being filled with turkey. It is a story of a mother anxious about the birth of her child, wondering where it will be born, and if she really did speak to an angel.
The Christmas story speaks of uncertainty, intrigue and mystery; soldiers carrying out atrocities on children to secure power for a puppet king.
This still rings true today. We are living in troubled times and more of us than we can imagine will have that feeling of stomachs churning this Christmas. One-in-five children are living in poverty, there are some elderly people who have to choose between heating or a hot meal. We have men and women serving with the armed forces away from their families this Christmas. And yet, through all of this, people still seek a meaning to it all and are drawn to worship.
To live life believing that God is with us, and that we will never be alone. That is the greatest comfort of all.
This Christmas, why not rediscover the hope of Christmas. Allow the Holy Spirit to heal the part of you that feels broken. Encounter the peace of forgiveness and discover the promise of Christmas for yourself.
• The Right Reverend Albert Bogle is moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland