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There is a lot of noise in the world which can make it hard to hear. When visiting the seafarers onboard the noise from the shore operations and the ship can make it hard to have a conversation as I strain to listen more closely because what the seafarer has to say is important. 
The noise of people rushing around in cars,  the repetitive store music, the internal dialogue about what  needs done next makes listening challenging.
It is listening for what really matters, like a cry for help or a moment of joy from a seafarer at the birth of a child, the laughter as a  family get together, the angels singing “Glory to God in the Highest”, the promises of God being revealed in a stable in Bethlehem. 

Amidst the noise of the world may you this Christmas hear and respond  anew to the love and joy that comes with Emmanuel ‘God with us’.