The pain of so many is palpable during these days leading up to the celebration of the birth of Jesus – whether it’s having their home destroyed by a tornado or struggling with depression that threatens to strangle them or feeling completely alone. They don’t know what to do with it. They are overwhelmed by it. And they have no joy even as they sing the words of the beloved carole that proclaim, “Joy to the world….” That’s why it’s important to remember something. Christmas trees, parties and decorations are nice. But Jesus’ birth is God’s gift of hope every single human being needs.