Sunday, December 20, 2020

A Weary World Rejoices

If there's one word I can think of that encapsulates a general feeling among people at this point in 2020, it's weary. Months of isolation, division, and frustration have built, leaving many of us exhausted. We are tired, but life keeps happening--bringing with it unpredictable curveballs and heartaches. 

Into this weary world, Christ enters. 

Over the past several weeks, I've been pondering the prophets as they prepared the world for the Messiah. Rather than their work being confined to a few weeks each winter, it was a process that took place over generations. It was long, slow work. Into a land that was filled with division and bloodshed, hope was proclaimed. 

"Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign; the young woman, pregnant and about to bear a son, shall name him Emmanuel." (Is 7:14)

We may not experience feelings of delight of happiness as we prepare for celebrations full of restrictions and masks, but we can still grasp onto the hope and joy that go beyond a mere emotional lift. We can gaze upon the Christ-child with wonder and awe as we contemplate just how incredible and deep God's love for us is. 

We may be worn out by the events of this year (I know I am!) but we cannot let our fatigue keep us from celebrating the tremendous gift of the Incarnation. Just a week ago, we lit a pink-colored candle on our dining room table. That rose-colored hue reminded us to rejoice, for the Lord is near! The Light is shining forth into the darkness of the world. 

Geertgen tot Sint Jans, The Nativity at Night (1490). Public domain.

We have just a few days left in this season of preparation, so let's persevere. The final days of Advent often slip by quickly, and are filled with many physical preparations as shopping is finished, food is purchased, and presents are wrapped. In this busy time, let's all try to remember to make space for prayer. It may be only a few minutes here or there, but setting aside small moments for silent reflection is a wonderful way to prepare our minds and hearts for Christ's birth. When we enter into the great feast of Christmas in just a few days, may we truly rejoice from the depths of our beings. 

A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices.

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