Summer melted into fall, and fall into winter. As our community navigates the Covid-19 pandemic, much has changed.
Kids wear masks to school. For months we all wore gaiters which are now out and ear loop masks are in. I had hoped we wouldn’t need subcategories for the word “mask.”
Shields are installed on every counter, nail salon booth, front desk, and grocery check out. Restaurants and other businesses vacillate between 25-50% capacity. Many of them never recover.
Churches also operate between 25-50% capacity as childrens classrooms are limited with registration required and rows of seats are roped off to create “social distancing.” The new catch phrase of 2020.
Most people are able to spell the word quarantine now and use it in everyday conversations. Kids transition between online learning and in class learning. Parents who swore they would never homeschool find it is not so bad after all and have seriously considered abandoning traditional school options.
Isolation and depression are skyrocketing as the government slams guilt and fear based propaganda into the people demanding families not meet for Thanksgiving or Christmas lest we unwittingly kill grandma via the virus.
The devastating effects of this message is yet to be seen as people take ownership of false guilt and spend their years struggling beneath a burden that was never theirs to bear.
Unable to enforce the laws they have dictated, leaders instead use the weapon of fear to turn neighbor against neighbor, calling upon them to report each other for noncompliance and disguising the ugly reality they are creating with a warped teaching of “loving your neighbor.”
At the approach of Christmas, I find my soul burdened and distracted from the true meaning. Traditionally a time of celebration and reuinting with family, it falls flat in the midst of this pandemic.
But is that what Christmas is about? Family? Friends? Travel? Bustle? As I find myself drifting away from the spirit of Christmas in a sense of loss toward all that has changed, the anchor of my soul pulls tight against the drift.
You see, I chose Christ. My soul is anchored inextricably to him and nothing can separate me from his love. When I begin to drift with the cultural current, my anchor pulls tight and I am not lost. Because this season is not about family, or parties, or shopping or even snow. It is about Christ. Without Christ, Christmas becomes a shimmering mirage making promises of hope, joy and peace only to disappear when I try to take hold.
Hope, healing, love, joy and peace are found in Christ. They are not promises I dream of or wish for when the pandemic is over, they are realities I can take hold of now. Christ is the rock I stand on in the storm.
Christ is my Hope. Christ is my Healing. Christ is my Joy. Christ is my Love. Christ is my Peace. In Christ I find all my heart longs for. All my soul needs.
2020. Has there ever been a year when we needed Christ more? Not a holiday, a religion, a building or a rebellion. No. We need a personal encounter with the God of the universe who has overcome the world and all its troubles. One who freely gives all he has to us. The One who has conquered sickness and death. The One whose family is not altered or changed by death.
If you, too, feel the loss of Christmas this year you don’t need to. Christ is right here waiting for you with hope, joy, peace, love and healing.
This year, I made my own ornaments and they say exactly what I want them to.