I suppose many of us are looking at this Christmas with a feeling that must be very unusual compared with all previous years; after all, this must be the first time that many people are not allowed to do whatever they usually do during Christmas time. There will be no travels to favorite vacation spots, no fun parties larger than 5 participants (and can a party be fun with less than 5 persons?), no familiar large-scale church Christmas eve worship services (candlelight service on Zoom, anyone?)... even going to the local shopping mall will give one a stark reminder of the dreary situation, what with the temperature scanning and contact tracing procedures, and people telling you to wear your mask while you are waiting for your food!
But in case you think that this is the worst, go speak to someone who lived through the Second World War and you will see that this is nothing, compared to the horrendous years faced by the older generation. And their experiences would be considered as tolerable when compared to other situations, for example, those who survived the unbelievably horrifying Holocaust. If one traces back in history, there are many more sob stories and periods that one can possibly imagine.
Now, I am not attempting to make an already challenging situation more depressing. The fact is that while the situation is less than thrilling, things can be a lot worse. At this writing, the vaccines are reporting positive testing results. So clearly there is hope. And as the old saying goes, "This too, shall pass." There is little doubt that we will recover from this Covid-19 pandemic within a year or maybe two, so we should focus on whatever good there is now.
One of the good is found in the fact that having a much noise-reduced Christmas could help us to reflect on what is truly important in life. In the Bible, Psalm 46: 10 says, "Be still, and know that I am God..." A quiet Christmas is the perfect occasion to be more still than usual, look deeper into our heart than usual, and prayerfully grow in wisdom a little more than usual. When we do that, we would be more thankful than usual for all the blessings that we have received in life. And if you are reading this, you are probably someone in a position to share some of the blessings you have with someone who needs it; in this season, there are more of these people than usual.
So let's all do just that, be thankful in our heart, and express that gratitude through our caring and sharing. Ironically, this could be a Christmas that would bless you more than usual!