This Christmas looks different. Everything this year is different. The world seems darker, scarier and full of invisible threats to our families and livelihoods.
I live on the same street as my parents, and I’ve been very grateful for that during lockdowns and quarantines. My kids have lost a lot this year, but they’ve had a constant- their grandparents. We’ve all tried to be careful so we could keep our small bubble going, but sadly my parents caught covid.
I was walking back from delivering dinner to their front porch one night and my mind started going over the events of the year. I believe I can get a collective “amen” when I say this year has been hard. Hard is an understatement. For the first time in a long time the whole world is going through the same thing. Maybe same storm, separate boats is more like it. This virus has not discriminated its victims. This virus has taken livelihoods of all kinds as well as lives. As I walked home in the pitch black, I looked up to see my home and was taken aback. In the window I saw a Christmas tree lit up, I heard my husband talking gently to our 2 year old who did not want to go to sleep. I saw a glimpse of hope in that window, and in that moment it hit me…
This Christmas, this year and the next, we as parents have the opportunity to create a sanctuary for our children. In that small glimpse from the darkness outside I saw light and love, and darkness couldn’t swallow it up. There is far too much darkness, and we are called to be children of light.
“so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky. Philippians 2:15
In our homes the words we use can keep out the darkness. In our homes we can protect and shelter young hearts from the arrows we are constantly being attacked with. Each time I look at the news I see a world I do not want my children to grow up in, and being pregnant during a pandemic is terrifying- what kind of world am I bringing this baby into?
But then I think of Jesus. His father sent him, a helpless baby to be raised by a young clueless mother in terrifying times. They had to outrun infanticide, being awoken by an angel in the middle of the night, all that after birthing the savior of the world in a strange town away from family in a cave side barn. The beginning of Jesus’ story looks less than ideal from my human perspective, but this child was born with purpose and his mother knew he was the savior. He was raised in a sinful world by a young mother, and brought light into every dark and lonely place he walked.
This Christmas season, let us reflect on the sacrifice God made to send his son from heaven- from perfection, light and free from pain to a dark, broken world riddled with sin. There was purpose in the pain. And there is purpose in your pain. 2020 isn’t a lost cause, we as parents are doing kingdom work. We are raising children to know hope and light and one day they will go out into the darkness, and it will not swallow them up. The hope of Christmas is here. There is hope in the darkness, the light of the world has come!
From my family to yours, Merry Christmas.
*my parents are covid free as I post this!*