This Christmas will be different than normal. It’s Christmas in a world with COVID. For us, that means social distancing, reduced gatherings, less people together, not the usual holiday travel, and the likelihood of Christmas services online. Let’s face it, it’s not what we want for Christmas. But as always, there are opportunities to make the most of the joy of Christmas.
First, it’s an opportunity for reflection. Each of us have habits and traditions that we normally like to practice at Christmas: the gifts, the gatherings, the food. Advent is an opportunity for reflection on the greatest gift of Christmas, God’s Son born into the world. It’s a season when we can slow down a little and remind ourselves of the old story. It’s a story that we’re involved in. Jesus came into the world for us.
Do you have habits or traditions that help you to reflect on this gift of Christmas? A new resource is a great Advent series from ‘Our Daily Bread’. My family has been using it at dinner. It’s engaging, accessible, informative, and helps us to see Jesus. We have free hard copies available at the Nest Café, or you can get it online here.
Second, we have the opportunity to share the gift of Christmas. This year, more than most others, people are aware that our world needs hope. Social distancing means that we might be reluctant to engage with others and share with them about the great hope we have.
There are ways that we can be prayerfully intentional in connecting with others even during COVID. It could be asking a colleague over coffee what Christmas means to him or her, and seeing where the conversation goes. Maybe it’s giving Christmas cards with a short gospel message inside. Maybe it’s sharing the link to our online Christmas service. Maybe it’s inviting someone to your home for a meal and to watch the service with you.
The Christmas story reminds us that Jesus entered into our broken and gloomy world to bring hope and light. It’s a story worth reflecting upon and sharing with others.