This Year Christmas is Different for Me

We are in the season of Advent, waiting for the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem, to be celebrated in two weeks. In years past, we have had the Christmas spirit flowing through our veins – buying presents for our children and grandchildren, decorating the house, preparing a Christmas letter to go with the Christmas cards, going to concerts, parties and other gatherings, etc.

Life as we know it changed profoundly in 2020 when everything seemed to be shut down during the Covid pandemic, which is still going on with new variants appearing on a regular basis. We became isolated from one another – our children could not go to school and had to learn “virtually” at home. Churches were lock-downed by government sanctions, and everyone had to wear masks and socially distance themselves in public and in doctor waiting rooms, grocery stores, etc. Much of this continued in 2021 and this year is ending while still being under “mandates” in the areas of vaccination and travel and public gatherings. There is still a spirit of fear and paranoia in many people in many places.

Where is God in all these things, you may ask? He is still on His throne and holds everything in His mighty hands. I believe that God has allowed this time of pulling back from the busyness and chaos of our daily lives for our good. We have been drawn back into the concept of family, where moms and dads and children and grandparents spend quality time together in the home-front. There has more opportunities to talk with and interact with one another on a daily basis – an opportunity to mend fences and revive personal relationships with our loved ones as well as our friends and neighbors.

Personally, God has uncovered in me several areas of my life that were broken and never brought to Him in prayer for healing. I have drawn closer to Him and His Word! My time in His presence has increased and I am more aware of His presence in my daily life. I have been changing for the better during this pandemic “time-out.” As Christmas nears, I feel the holiness and solemnity of Jesus’ incarnation and birth more than ever before in my life. I fall on my knees in my heart as I hear the angels singing “Glory to God and on earth, peace to all men!” I have a deeper understanding of how much God the Father loves me in sending Jesus Christ to redeem me from my sinfulness through His death of the cross. Like the profound silence in the morning after a snowfall before anyone has stepped out of his/her house and before the snow plows arrive, the incomparable solemnity of what God has done is wrapped around my heart and I am so grateful and blessed! I wish that experience for everyone of you who are reading this blog! Merry Christmas!

Blessings, Joyce