Merle's Christmas reflections - 3. Light in the darkness
It is so sad that the celebration of our Christmas has been shortened to one day and travel has been restricted. However much our circumstances might have changed this year there are some things that never change.
The message on the Christmas cards never changes. The wording might be different, and the printing varied but the words of joy, peace, love, goodwill and Christmas cheer always remind us that Christmas is a time to celebrate the birth of Jesus. I do know that many cards will not mention the birth of the Saviour.
Should a traveller visit Bethlehem today, they would find it far, far different to the Bethlehem where Jesus was born. Two thousand years of history have passed and none of the original buildings or Judean culture remain. But the message remains the same. We face an anxious time of unrest, not a time of political upheaval and occupation by an enemy nation, but one caused by the unseen enemy of a pandemic. The Christmas Day celebrations with family and friends have been altered or removed by restrictions and lockdowns. More than ever, we need the words of peace, joy, love, goodwill and Christmas cheer. Christmas concerns the receiving of the gift of the birth of Jesus Christ, which took place in perilous times. The recognition and message of that birth has stood the test of time. Our challenge will be to quieten our hearts so that the light of Christmas can penetrate the darkness that surrounds us. Nothing will be able to destroy hope that endures for ever, peace that passes understanding and a joy that is unfathomable in times of distress. Nothing can separate us from the love of God.
‘For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.’