Christmas season normally means hearing Christmas music everywhere I go, visiting friends for holiday parties, and in some years helping my church prepare for Christmas Eve services.
This year at times it seems like COVID is the Grinch who stole Christmas. I have not visited a friend in their home since this past February before the pandemic began. That has been a key part of my ministry, visiting my refugee and immigrant friends in their homes. Due to COVID, I will stay home alone on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
Christmas Eve service will be watching online for me. It won’t be the same. I won’t be sitting in the congregation at church holding a lit candle as we sing Silent Night. Some Christmas Eve services I have been a part of by being in a drama sketch, but not this year.
Jesus arranges chance meetings for me to remind me he is there. Yesterday I went to Office Depot to get a cable to connect a printer someone gave me with my laptop. While I was there, I saw a married couple from church. We chatted, socially distanced, for a few minutes.
I stopped by a coffee shop that was one of my hangouts before COVID to buy some coffee. The manager gave me a small gift of 100 Corny Jokes because whenever I stop in, I share a joke.
Such encounters are nice, but the big thing for me to remember is that COVID is only the Grinch if we allow to be. What I mean by that is it can only take our joy from us if we let it. Joy is a gift from Jesus. Joy comes from knowing Jesus and reflecting on his love and his coming to us.
Nothing can take the love of Jesus from us. Nothing can take his presence in our lives from us. Yes we may need to change our focus this Christmas season, but nothing can take Jesus from us.
Thank you for reading. God Bless.