There is another side of the Christmas story.

One friend has been in and out of prison with associated beatings. Another just got out of prison. His health has suffered due to severe treatment. They stripped him of his citizenship and passport. Others left the country. All of them keep a low profile. All will have trouble finding work.

This is the price some are willing to pay for following Jesus. Our hearts ache for them. Our prayers go out to them.

Jesus did come to bring “joy to the world” and “peace on earth.” But persecution and even martyrdom follow as men and women become His followers. In many places, there is no visible joy and no apparent peace. But it is there. It is deep in the hearts of people who refuse to renounce their faith in the “newborn King.”

So let us rejoice together as we remember His coming this Christmas. But let us remember to pray for those who pay a high price for their belief in Him.

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