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On 5th August this year the San Jose copper mine, in the Atacama Desert in Chile collapsed. 33 men were trapped in darkness. The world and their relatives feared that there was no hope. The depth of the mine, the lack of food and water, and the absence of any signs of life all pointed to a terribly sad end.

But after signs of life were detected, an audacious rescue attempt was launched. Starting from the surface of the desert during bright daylight, drills began to bore a narrow hole down into darkness.

After meticulous planning, but recognising many risks, a rescue capsule called Phoenix was sent down into the depths to rescue the 33 men. One by one the men stepped into their rescue capsule and they were delivered to the surface to shouts of jubilation and joy. They had been feared dead, but every man that stepped into the capsule was saved, alive and well.

After meticulous planning, and very aware of the risks, God launched an audacious rescue attempt. For many people life can seem dark and without hope – a bit like being trapped in a mine; so the message of Christmas is that God came down from above into the depths of this world to rescue us. Jesus is the rescue capsule; and when we place ourselves into his care he lifts us up, inch by inch, moment by moment, in order to save us.

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