December 19, 2020
While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. Luke 2:6-7
In this season of Advent and Christmas, we have no doubt that this time of great disruption and change that is 2020 continues.
But let’s keep things in perspective. The first Christmas came in the midst of poverty, a government edict for a census, a difficult journey while pregnant, and no place to stay for the night. Mary and Joseph didn’t have an easy life, despite what the Hallmark Christmas card scenes paint for us. The Son of God was born in a smelly animal cave.
There was hardship, hurt, and pain. And yet God’s love, despite the darkness, came forth. As you know from our Advent midweek services, one of my favorite Christmas carols is “O Little Town of Bethlehem.” And my favorite line is ‘Yet in thy dark streets shineth the everlasting light, the hopes and fears of all the years are met in thee tonight.’ ”
Hopes have been dashed this year. Plans disrupted. Trips not taken. Family gatherings not possible. Economic adversity, health crises, isolation, and loneliness.
Yet, He comes. The Christ child comes, despite our outward circumstances. As he came long ago, in the midst of occupation and despair, he comes now. The light shines in the darkness.
Whatever else this year has been, it is still dated 2020 A.D. Ano Domini, Latin for the year of our Lord. Things are no longer dated by Caesar’s rule or census. We date everything in our lives by Him.
Because the light still shines in our dark streets.
The hopes and fears of all the years, and this year, are met in Jesus Christ, born in Bethlehem, born anew in our hearts.
Pastor Jeff Ruby