I think we can all agree that 2020 has been one of the strangest years most of us have ever seen. Honestly, it seems like each month tried to outdo the one before it for craziness. And now we’ve finally made it to the Christmas season. Now I don’t know about you, but I absolutely love the Christmas season. I usually start sometime in October planning our advent activities and organizing our calendar so we can fit in ALL of the activities we enjoy.
But of course 2020 is….different. And that calendar is looking pretty empty. So I’ve decided that instead of being sad or upset about everything we’re missing, to embrace the difference that is 2020 and really use this Advent season to reflect on everything it means. Maybe one of the most overused phrases this time of year is to remember the “reason for the season.” But I’m going to make it my motto this year and focus fully on faith and family. To use this different season to focus simply on the manger and everything it means to me.
One of my favorite Christmas carols is “Silent Night.” Its words were originally written around 1816 by the German priest Josephus Mohr. The German title is “Stille Nacht” which can also (obviously) be translated as Still Night. And while I’m pretty sure that first Christmas night wasn’t silent (what with a newborn and animals around) I can just picture that there probably was a moment of absolute stillness in heaven as the realization that this one event, this one birth, had just altered human history forever.
And if I’m being brutally honest, in previous Christmas seasons it’s been hard for me to even slow down long enough to read my Bible, let alone get still and focus on the THE story. But this year I really have no excuse to not be still. Without festivals, and parades, and plays, and tree lightings, and a million other things on our calendars, we are left with a much simpler Christmas. And that’s ok.
After all, that first Christmas was about as simple as it gets. And God used that one to change the entire world. I hope he uses this one to change me.