We are just days from celebrating Christmas 2020. What a ride this past year has been. Just weeks before Easter we were asked to not meet for public worship services because of a virus. We would never have thought we would not be able to gather in our churches for outreach through Easter events or not be together for Resurrection morning. That became the case for graduation celebrations and then deep into the summer.
With a pause from isolation in the late Summer and Fall we are now, to say the least, celebrating Advent differently. Some have been able to keep connected online, through Zoom, Facebook and half a dozen “virtual platforms” we hadn’t even heard of before. Others have figured out ways to worship “socially distanced” – another idea we haven’t heard about before we were concerned about passing the virus.
Like the Nativity story, God’s people have always found a way to bring “tidings of comfort and joy…” in the midst of hard times.
I really love listening to Pentatonix sing Christmas songs. They add some depth and even a little jazz to any music. One of my favorites is “God Rest you Merry Gentlemen.” This nearly 500-year-old carol has some great reminders for this 2020 Christmas.
We can rest and not be dismayed: We can find rest and hope no matter what is going on in the world. Frustrating? YES. Disappointing? No Doubt! But we are not without hope…
For Christ was born on Christmas Day: Our hope isn’t found anywhere else. Jesus’ birth was the expression of God’s Grace upon Grace as the Apostle John put it: “For from [Christ’s] fullness we have all received, grace upon grace” (John 1:16, ESV). Meeting us right where we have need!
To save us ALL from Satan’s power: God chose a baby in a barn to rescue us in the battle for our souls and the battle to live in obedience and hope. Grace upon Grace.
When we have gone astray: It is, at times, easy to wander in our concerns, to doubt in our shortcomings or even lose Hope there will be a positive outcome… But Jesus offers much more than forgiveness or even the promise of Heaven. We also have the promise of power to live Holy.
The 1833 version of this song includes this verse…
Fear not, then said the Angel,
Let nothing you affright,
This day is born a Saviour
Of virtue, power and might!
Remember this Christmas that we can rest in God’s Power and Might in all we face.
Merry Christmas! Deb and I are praying you’ll know that Power and Might as you celebrate the grace upon grace of God through Jesus!
PS: Check out this link: https://letras2.com/god-rest-ye-merry-gentlemen-letra-pentatonix/\