In years past, Christmas brought about many feelings including love, excitement, and wonder but a stronger one in particular: anticipation. The giddiness of hoping that what was beneath the green and red wrapping paper was, in fact, a beloved book I’d been begging for months instead of clothes which, while a necessity, were not high on my list of childhood priorities.
Over time, as the years passed, Christmas became less and less about what I could receive and instead became centered on what I could give to others. Scripture tells us that “it is better to give than to receive” and I felt that to be truer in my adult years than in times prior. A pair of earrings for my mother, clothes for my stepdad; these acts of giving made me feel more connected to God than anything else.
This year feels different though. 2020 has brought with it a deadly virus, job loss, death, and much division and uncertainty. In these times, it is all too easy for depression and despair to hold us captive, but let us not forget that God stepped down into this dark, dismal world and gave us the greatest gift ever: Himself wrapped in human flesh.
He did not come with chariots or horns, nor in a time of peace. He came in a little town of Bethlehem when the world silently held its bated breath, anxious for salvation and a deliverer. As they held fast to the promise they were given by the prophets, so we too must remember what God has promised, especially now. Amidst the fear and pain that 2020 has brought about so far, let us continue to anticipate the promise of an ever-faithful God to bring hope through the fears and years to come.