A Very Pandemic Christmas! December 2020

A Very Pandemic Christmas!

So often we say Merry Christmas! Or Happy Christmas! Or Blessed Christmas! But, a “Pandemic Christmas?” What does that mean?

To me, the word pandemic implies disease, and death, and fear. It implies suffering, and loss of things as they “used to be.” It implies that there are difficult things going on that are out of our control.

In many ways our lives are different this year! It sure feels like we are out of control, and that fear, and suffering, and death are raging all around us. But, isn’t that the kind of world Jesus was born into also? History doesn’t tell us about the diseases that might have been rampant when Jesus was born. But, there was a tyrant king named Herod. There were taxes. There was loss of life– children, fathers and mothers, and people.

And since Jesus’ day, there have been numerous times of pandemic, plague, war, famine, disaster. So often we think we are in control, but then another hurricane comes roaring in. Or a spark creates a wildfire that creates uncontrollable havoc. And all the while, people struggle with hunger, loss of their job, or family strife. “We are not as strong, as we think we are…” sang Rich Mullins.

Into this world, and times like ours– Jesus came! Amidst all of life’s trials– and blessings– and fears– and uncertainties– the Savior came. With His coming came HOPE, and PEACE, and JOY, and LOVE.

I believe these things are still here! Because of Jesus’ coming we have HOPE, PEACE, JOY, AND LOVE. In the midst of our pandemic– we still have an amazing Savior, who offers us His goodness.

During this Advent season, I will be focusing some messages on these gifts that are available. And perhaps together we can learn that a “Pandemic Christmas” may be one which helps us see Jesus a little more clearly. Perhaps a “Pandemic Christmas” will help us appreciate one another a little more as well. The dark times may help us see the light. The hard things may help us realize how much we are blessed…and how much we have! Perhaps the losses we experience– as much as they hurt– will point us to the eternal promises of God. There are promises of living hope, peace that passes understanding, joy that rejoices in all things, and the lavish Love of our Heavenly Father.

And perhaps as you are having yourself a very Pandemic Christmas, you feel like doing something to show your gratitude for Jesus’ blessings. I encourage you to listen to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. You can give your money to help others through, the United Ministries, or One Great Hour of Sharing, or thru your church’s ministries, or to someone you know of. You can give your time to someone who is lonely, or needing a friend. You can write a note of encouragement to a “front line Covid worker,” or whoever the Spirit puts on your heart.

Meanwhile have yourself a very Pandemic Christmas. Because even in 2020, Jesus brings HOPE, PEACE, JOY, LOVE… And LIFE EVERLASTING!

God is good. All the time!

Pastor Mark

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