2020 has been the year no one anticipated. From priests, to governments, to the stock market, no one could predict that which was coming upon us. How do you even begin to brace yourself for something you don’t understand? And here we are, almost a year into a health crisis that has transformed the landscape of our generation. It feels like living in a gated community with a sophisticated alarm system and yet waking up one morning to the realization that your house has been wiped clean by an intruder. How did this happen? You feel violated and launch an investigation only to realize that the people who are supposed to have the answers have not only been robbed but are equally clueless.
That’s how 2020 has been for most. Some have been devastated more than others but suffice it to say that we have all been impacted at some level. Our world is changed forever and will continue to evolve over the coming years. Some things may look or stay the same but a lot will also be different. There is no denying that there has been some good also. New businesses, opportunities, and policies have emerged from this crisis. On a personal level, a colleague who tried for over 13 years to have a child finally welcomed her first child this year. What a year to make an entrance.
It is understandable for people to feel anxious or helpless and while we may not yet have the answers to the tides of life, there is still reason to hope. I’m not referring to a false sense of hope or security but rather to a living assurance and a constant reminder that we are never alone. Partial lyrics to one of my favorite hymns states:
“Through all the changing scenes of life, in trouble and in joy, the praises of my God shall still my heart and tongue employ”.
Many, many, years ago, in a country far, far, away, a child was born. His sole purpose was to give hope, save us from ourselves, and reconcile the world back to God. Events leading to his birth and death didn’t look hopeful. His disciples lost all hope when the storm was raging in His presence. For most it feels like we have been in that raging storm all year long. From canceled events, lockdowns, to drive through graduations, we have all witnessed these changes from life’s front seat.
But here we are, the end of the year 2020, and it’s Christmas again. At last, “this child” speaks now and He brings hope and life to all. We have hope for 2021 not because there is a COVID vaccine, but because this Child that was born thousands of years ago still gives hope and healing. So whether you have a thousand gifts under the Christmas tree, or no gift at all, or perhaps you don’t even have a Christmas tree, do know that you already have the greatest gift of all time in the person of Jesus Christ. The instructions on this timeless gift reads:
Unwrap me each day,
I never expire
I have everything you need
I’m always with you
Christmas was never about big gatherings, shopping or loud noises. It’s about reflection, hope and gratitude. So when you step out this season and you see the Christmas lights, may it remind you of the light He gives all year round. Most importantly, may you extend that light and hope wherever you go.