This has been a year like no other. 2020 will go down in the books as one of the wildest rides of our lifetime. Corona Virus, pandemics, racial tensions, civil unrest, crashing stock markets, political upheavals, natural disasters, death of loved ones, children out of school – all in the space of nine months. Did I mention the murder hornets and dust storms across the Atlantic from the Sahara? As this year draws to a close and the holidays approach, I find myself reflecting. What shall become of us?
I don’t know about you, but I’m exhausted. Weary of masks, social distance, shuttered storefronts, endless hand sanitizer … with no end in sight. Have things changed forever? What is our hope?
This year Christmas will be different for everyone. But wait – It was into such a dark time, 2000 years ago, in the midst of Roman oppressive rule, that folks in a small Palestinian town, weary and scratching the bottom of their barrels, not sure what the future held, witnessed a 2000-year prophecy fulfilled.
You who bring good news to Jerusalem, lift up your voice with a shout, lift it up, do not be afraid; say to the towns of Judah, “Here is your God!” The greatest gift came in humble wrapping – a baby born in a cave, laid on a feeding trough, while shepherds came to see the mystery. What was happening on that Holy Night?
Placide Cappeau’s famous poem Cantique de Noël
Minuit, chrétiens, c’est l’heure solennelle,
Où l’Homme Dieu descendit jusqu’à nous
Pour effacer la tache originelle
Et de Son Père arrêter le courroux.
Le monde entier tressaille d’espérance
En cette nuit qui lui donne un Sauveur.
Peuple à genoux, attends ta délivrance.
Noël, Noël, voici le Rédempteur,
Noël, Noël, voici le Rédempteur!
O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O Holy Night
This Christmas let’s open our hearts to the wonder and thrill of hope. Let’s fall to our knees as remember that first Christmas. Let us exchange our weakness for His JOY. Let’s bring ornaments to the tree that last into eternity. Let’s give up the shallow glitter for the true light from Heaven. Let’s unwrap the gift of salvation that was promised to us, we just need to BELIEVE and receive.
Do yourself a favor this Christmas. Let yourself feel divine joy, simplify, and let God comfort your weariness, your grief, your loss. HE is the Gift!
The Jatra 360 Team