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London born singer songwriter Adele Adkins MBE has enjoyed incredible success in the popular music world in the past few years. Her three albums titled 19, 21, and 25 have been highly critically acclaimed, with the recently released, ‘25’ being incredibly well received in the US as well as the UK.

This 27 year old mother of two is regarded as such a successful artist, that she , like other top pop stars, has attracted a significant following of faithful ‘tribute’ acts who tour pubs, clubs, and small venues portraying her songs and singing style. Some of these acts could be described as ‘look-a-likes’ or ‘sound-a-likes’, while others just love Adele and want to share their love and respect for her with a wider audience.

As part of a TV programme covering the launch of her latest album, the real Adele agreed to be a contestant in a tribute act competition. Thinly disguised so as not to be readily noticed she joined the other participants as they waited to perform in front of the judges. No one noticed Adele as they exchanged small talk, jokes, and friendly banter. One by one they performed in front of each other, singing their favourite Adele song. Last up was the real Adele, and she started to sing. The first few notes where enough. That voice was unmistakably genuine Adele. This was the real thing. The reaction of the other tribute acts to this revelation was truly amazing, ranging from initial disbelief and doubt, through to amazement, wonder, joy, and thankfulness. It was a surprisingly moving and emotional encounter to witness, somehow uplifting and heart-warming. The Youtube clip showing the excerpt from the BBC show has over 38 million views the last time I looked!

It reminded me in many ways, of the true message of Christmas. The event that we celebrate each year is all about the revealing of Jesus as the Saviour of the world, and the declaration of Emmanuel or ‘God with us’.

The original Christmas announcement was that God was no longer a difficult to access, distant God dwelling somewhere else, but that He would be living and evident with us in the here and now through His son Jesus. He would be in the midst of us, and that this was incredibly Good News.

Those tribute acts sought to be like the subject of their devotion and adoration, they expressed it in their lives, but whilst they might see Adele at a concert, or on TV, they thought that they would never get to meet her in person for real. When they realised that Adele was in their midst, actually with them, the emotions they displayed were in some small way like those that can hit us in our response to the Christmas story.

Whether we realise, either for the first time this year or once again this Christmas, the Good News is that God loves us, and that He has chosen to be with us in our midst, to actually dwell with us, to be involved with us and our lives, day by day.

May amazement, wonder, joy and thankfulness be our response to the Good News of this wonderful Christmas story.

If you would like to watch the video on Youtube the link is: https://youtu.be/OHXjxWaQs9o