Don't Let 2020 Steal This Holy Time of Year
2020 has been, by all accounts, a very unusal year. We have experienced, thus far, a global pandemic and a global shutdown. We have experienced economic uncertainty, job insecurities, health concerns, social upheaval, political turmoil and cultural fragmentation, and in all of this, people have experienced depression, disorientation, anxiety, stress and isolation and any number of other things.
As we enter the 'Christmas Season' (and I do not like that term, but am using it for a shared reference with you, the reader), we have an opportunity to refocus and recenter and reprioritize. We have this margin every year, pandemic or no pandemic, social upheaval or no social upheaval, this remarkable time in our culture between Thanksgiving and the New Year, highlighted by Christmas in which we rejoice in the gift of God's Son to us, where we have opportunity to be still and to remember who our God is and all that He has done for us.
Every year we have this margin in the culture where we have opportunity to reset and to experience spiritual refreshment, or, if we are not careful with the gift of this space, to busily or mindlessly go about our normal 'routines' and to miss it all together.
My concern for many professing Christians in 2020 is that many of us wil, if we are not careful, allow this unusual year of 2020 to have power over us that it should not have, and in that, that we would 'give' 2020 the authority to cause us to miss the blessing of Christmas.
'I can't gather with family this year the way I normally would due to Covid and travel restrictions, so this year Christmas just stinks.'
'I can't spend what I normally spend on Christmas this year because of economic uncertainty. 2020 is just the worst. This won't be the usual Christmas.'
You get the idea. I'm not denying that the Christmas season can be lonely for people who are alone, or who are isolated from family. I am also not denying that we all would likely like to give more to people we love, and sometimes we cannot, and that can get to us (if we let it). What I am saying is this: 'Christmas is solely about Jesus-the gift of God's Son to us.'
Joy to the World!
Christmas is not about the things our culture says it is about! This is an incredible opportunity for us to remember the simple beauty of what Christmas is to be about-celebrating the gift of God's Son!
There is something holy that happens around this time of year for those who take time to truly slow down and focus on the meaning of it all: People experience a sense of quiet peace and clarity. This is what matters. This is why we are here. It's Jesus. It's all Jesus.
Silent Night. Holy Night.
Yes, 2020 has been unusual. For most of us, this has been our first 'global pandemic,' and most of us have not experienced so many out of the ordinary things in one year. 2020 has strangely marked everything it has touched.
Still...God is Sovereign over this year and every year, over all history. Still, Jesus Christ is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and still in the business of saving and redeeming and rescuing and restoring and healing and blessing and renewing! Jesus changes everything He touches (for the better) infinitely moreso than 2020 does!
So, what will we do with this moment? Will we return to Him? Will we reconnect with the worshipping community? Will we remember the remarkable gift of God's Son to us and Praise Him for all of the many blessings we have through Jesus Christ?
Or, will we tragically take the margin we have this time of year, and throw it away, because we allow 2020 to negatively impact what should be a holy time?
That decision is ultimately up to each of us.
What will you do with this holy time of year? I pray God's grace on each of you!
Grace and Peace,
More in Pastor's Blog
April 15, 2021Choosing Faith and Joy in an Age of Fear and Anxiety
April 10, 2021Standing Firm in the Storm
March 29, 2021Why the Resurrection Claim Matters