Life is bitter-sweet.
That is why, in the midst of Christmas – the twelve-day-long celebration of God coming to be with us – we raise our glasses to remember Stephen (26th Dec), stoned to death by a mob who felt their world threatened by his beliefs concerning Jesus;
and John (27th Dec), exiled to a Roman prison camp, his mind un-hinged enough to see the world more clearly than most ever do;
and the Holy Innocents (27th or 28th or 29th Dec), children murdered on the orders of a ruthless king who brooked no possible rivals.
We don’t wait until Christmas is over. We do not compartmentalise joy and sadness, celebration and anguish; because life does not compartmentalise these things. But neither do they cancel one another out. Instead, they add depth to one another.
Life is bitter-sweet. Savour it this Christmas.