I don’t know about you but the news of Christmas being “cancelled” a week before the festivities were due to begin really feels like the cherry on top of the extremely dry cake that has been 2020.
Every year, for as long as I can remember, Christmas has meant a house full of laughter, family and friends travelling from far and wide, and spending time celebrating the magic of the season with the people that I love the most.
You can take the presents, you can take the Christmas parties with friends and co-workers, but to not have the ones you love around at the most magical time of the year…Isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
In the midst of my sadness and disappointment (which is totally justified!) Jesus wipes my tears and lifts my head and reminds me once again that Christmas really is about Him.
Maybe in the rushing to get the Christmas dinner ready, and the celebrating with family and friends, and the giving and sharing of presents, the gentle melodies of “Happy Birthday dear Jesus” have slowly but surely been drowned out by the chinking of glasses and the jolly well wishes.
Perhaps in the quietness of this Christmas, in the forced slowing down, and even in the loneliness, we might come to reset and refocus our eyes on the true reason for the season.
That is the birth of Jesus. Who is not limited by rules or restrictions. Who might just be the only person (metaphorically) knocking at your front door, waiting to be invited in this Christmas.
Maybe this year, in the enforced stillness, while everything else has been stripped away, we might be reminded of the sacred simplicity of that first Christmas. Huddled around a manger made of straw. The wonder and awe at the first glimpses of a baby, named Jesus. A baby who would grow up to be the hope of the world, even in the most hopeless of circumstances.
” Hope of all hopes, dream of our dreams, a child is born, sweet-breathed; a son is given to us: a living gift. And even now, with tiny features and dewy hair, He is great. The power of leadership, and the weight of authority, will rest on His shoulders. His name? His name we’ll know in many ways – He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Dear Father everlasting, ever-present never-failing, Master of Wholeness, Prince of Peace.”
Isaiah 9:5-7 (Voice Translation)