Christmas Eve 2020- everywhere we turn there is coverage on COVID, quarantines, masks, limiting gatherings, election divisions, social unrest, and so much more. As we celebrate Christmas this year, there is no doubt it will look different than other years. Many have lost loved ones. Others are separated by choice (isolation) or not by choice (family divisions.) I have heard some people say, it isn’t even worth it to celebrate. I beg to differ! This year we need to spread joy and bring light at a time when we have seen so much darkness and despair.
My favorite Christmas carol is Oh Holy Night. Songs speak powerfully to me, and I hear different messages from the same song depending on my circumstances. The other day I heard it play on the radio and a few things stuck out to me. First, the phrase, “A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices, For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn,” really hit home to me. Christ is hope yesterday and now, even in 2020. It has been over 2000 years ago and his birth was anticipated then and is still celebrated now. And the world is definitely weary today, but rejoicing does something to the spirit. When we rejoice it casts off depression and gloom. Choose joy and be invigorated!
In verse 2, where the words may not be as familiar it says, “In all our trials born to be our friend. He knows our need, to our weakness is no stranger.” Jesus wants to be there for us. This lyric emphasizes that He is our friend, he knows what we are going through and he knows how it feels to be weakened by trials. Friend, we need to hang on to that this Christmas and every day of the year. I am guessing if I were to ask you, “How are you getting through the pandemic?” Many of you would say family and friends and their support. Jesus is there for us, he is our friend.
The last lyric that really stuck out was “Truly He taught us to love one another; His law is love and His Gospel is Peace.” This is so important right now. There is so much hate and disrespect for one another in the world today. Life is too short for hatred towards anyone. Love one another- be kind! Extend love with a smile, no we can’t hug physically but wave, say Hi, give to someone in need. Shock someone with kindness!
Last- “Fall on your knees, Oh hear the angel voices.” Worship the babe in the manger this Christmas. Listen for angel voices as the New Year breaks. Mostly praise God every day, because with Christ in your life, every night is a Holy Night and worthy of our praise! God is still on the throne and Jesus is still in the manger! Don’t lose sight of the light because the world focuses on the darkness! Merry CHRISTmas to you all!