Most us would agree that Christmas 2020 is out of the ordinary from what is usual. And the primary contributor to this year’s unusual celebration, of course, is the Covid-19 pandemic in which we find ourselves.
The photo above makes the point. It’s a Christmas angel that was on a gift I received in our staff white elephant gift exchange. Note the angel is made from two masks like the ones most of us have worn the last several months. The person who made it wrote the year 2020 on it as a reminder of what we have experienced this year.
Obviously we have not completely done away with Christmas, but we have cut back and will miss a lot. This week I went to do some shopping and could hardly believe how few shoppers there were.
Many will follow suggested guidelines and not travel to be with family, or even have family gatherings with those who live nearby. The reason, of course, is to avoid as much as possible being in situations in which the virus can be passed on to others.
In following suggestions from government officials a lot of churches will not have their traditional Christmas Eve services so as to avoid crowds. To cancel a tradition that so many look forward to each year is an indication of how serious the pandemic is.
As I have reflected on how out of the ordinary Christmas will be this year I have been reminded how out of the ordinary the first Christmas was. Although it was the fulfillment of prophecy and God’s promise, it was the only time what happened ever happened. It was certainly out of the ordinary – far more than our Christmas celebration will be this year.
Even if the ordinary happenings of Christmas like shopping, decorations, cookies, family gatherings, giving gifts, singing carols, feasting, and more may not take place this year, we can still celebrate.
For me four words express the heart of Christmas: hope, love, joy, and peace. The birth of Jesus that we celebrate reminds us of these four beautiful and needed words, ideas, and feelings. Even in this unsettling time, celebrating the birth of Jesus can renew the promise of peace, joy, love, and hope that he brought and still brings to us.
Perhaps our out of the ordinary Christmas this year will result in a more focused recognition of what it is we are celebrating. Merry Christmas!
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Bob, Thank you for the reminder that although we may be disappointed that we may not be able to celebrate Christmas the way we have in years past, we still can celebrate the reason for Christmas. Our savior and his birth should be the paramount reason for our celebration. We may struggle in our circumstances but if we focus on him we will be alright. Merry Christmas to you and your family!
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Yes Bob, this is the first Christmas not spent with Patricia and her family. Missing all the Christmas Eve services we celebrated at DCC. Missing you and Jan. Hopefully we can see y’all in 2021 or 2022 when we’re able to travel again. Take care of one another and may 2021 see our world healthier and keeping our hope in our Lord. Love and blessings Deb
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You’re words always bring joy and comfort to us Bob. Our Wednesday morning bible study group has been doing a in depth study of Luke 2. I’ve learned so much that I never knew. Many years ago I used to fellowship with a lady who had a show on TBN. It was called “Pass it On”. Her name was Mom Taylor. She told me once that she had been reading the word for over 50 years. And when she did God revealed something new. I agree with her. You and Jan and the family have a truly blessed Christmas season. Scott and Rachel
Thank you Pastor Bob, and thankful for the birth of the baby Jesus 2,000 years ago to Mary and Hoesph, wow , what Mary must have thought when the angel Gabrielle showed up and said,” you’ll give birth to the baby Jesus, and Mary was a very young teenager, wow.