“My soul glorifies the Lord and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, for he has been mindful of the humble state of his servant” (Luke 1:47,48).
What will children 100 years from now in history class study about the year 2020. Will the lessons focus on historical facts like these?
- In 2020, people living in metro areas enjoyed much more peaceful and relaxing commutes.
- In 2020, many more people discovered career changes.
- In 2020, schools excelled at online learning and paved the way for the cyber classroom.
- In 2020, public health saw a welcome increase in people washing their hands like never before.
Wait. Could future humanity truly understand 2020 if they didn’t know about the pain of a small business closing down, the disappointment of students missing out on a normal senior year and graduation, or the general hostility fueled by a pandemic? That’s reality.
As we prepare for Christmas, we wonder, “What will it be like this year?”
It helps to remember that the first Christmas was filled with hardships. A teenage girl was rocked by scandal—even though she didn’t do anything wrong. A newlywed couple was uprooted from their home, their family, and their support system during the most inconvenient time of their lives. That’s reality.
Yet, through those hardships, the greatest opportunities presented themselves. Opportunities for heavenly peace from God that can’t be cancelled by the chaos, for unexpected hope to be born as God reaches into our mess, and ultimately for all humanity to be delivered by a Savior named Jesus (who experienced his own hardships).
Within less-than-ideal circumstances, God sent his own Son Jesus Christ to change our hearts and lives. Jesus Christ gives us hope, peace and joy that rises above everything that might disappoint us about 2020 and beyond.
As you wonder what Christmas will be like this year, be sure to also ask, “What is Jesus like?”
PRAYER: Dear Jesus, this year’s hardships on me and others can be disappointing. Encourage my faith to look beyond the circumstances to your promises, and to your coming into our world. You experienced hardships of your own, and through them I believe that you saved us. Amen.
FURTHER MEDITATION: Read Mary’s song of praise in Luke 1:46-55. Let them lead you to focus on the loving plans and powerful promises of God, as you prepare for Christmas.