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In every great story, there’s a cast of characters, there’s history – dots to be connected so that the story makes sense, and, of course, a problem to be solved. The problem is always underlying – under the surface, behind the scenes – and known by the author. And usually, before things get better, they take a turn for the worse. The better the story – the darker and more hopeless things become. The solution to the problem is always surprising – and sometimes shocking. When you were born, you became part of a story that started thousands of years ago – a story that took a huge turn for the better on the Night Before Christmas – over 2000 years ago.  Things looked totally hopeless. In his book, the Chronicle’s of Narnia, C.S. Lewis describes this era as, Always winter but never Christmas. God’s people had been crushed – almost out of existence. Faith, religion – had become a crushing weight of rules and protocol. The King of the Jews was a tyrant. Expectations were high – but the chances of realizing them, dismal. In most great stories, hope has been totally extinguished, when something flickers in the corner – and a tiny candle of hope appears. In the great story of God – of which we are a part, the problem was, quite literally – NIGHT. Darkness. Life and light was being crushed out of existence by the weight of evil, sadness, pain, injustice – and the arrogance and over-confidence of the perpetrators. And then… a pregnancy – the entrance of HOPE into the darkest story ever.