Christmas In A World Of Change
The year 2020 is certainly one to remember… although perhaps many would like to forget. I do not want to minimise the pain and challenge of the year, but I’ve noticed in conversations how gratitude and hope have helped many through. Gratitude for what we do have, and hope to believe that better days are ahead. When plans change (frequently), it is comforting to know there are those near and dear to us who are willing to go the journey. When expectations are not quite reached, it is encouraging to hear that a deeper and richer learning has actually taken place through what was unforeseen. Our world has changed dramatically this year, but we can remain grateful and hopeful.
In the lead up to Christmas I always reflect on the Christmas story with all its drama, mystery and splendour. This year has caused me to see it in a new light. Jesus, the Light of the World came into a darkened world to bring hope. But consider how the characters involved with the first Christmas were also part of an event which changed the world.
Mary faced ‘unprecedented’ times falling pregnant and carrying the Son of God. Joseph made preparations for Mary to quarantine for her own protection. Obediently, they overcame their initial fears by listening and following advice from the Highest authority. The general population were given travel warnings and instructed to register their movements. Mary and Joseph discovered how hard it was to find accommodation at short notice. Then they had to deal with unsanitary conditions connected to one of the local hotels. Meanwhile, in regional Bethlehem, some shepherds caught wind of the latest news and rushed down to the stable while visitor numbers allowed it. Then sometime later, the government approved of some wise men crossing their borders. But first, they had to submit their application to local law enforcement and receive a permit to search for the new King who was born.
(Read in Luke 1:26-38; 2:1-12; Matthew 1:18-24; 2:1-12 – www.biblegateway.com)
With everything going on around us it can be easy to forget the reason for celebrating Christmas. But this year, I invite you to remember how the world was changed forever on that first Christmas through the birth of Jesus Christ. May you have a blessed and safe Christmas. Thank you for making this year truly one to be grateful for, and one to remember. But also know… better days are still ahead.