The most wonderful time of the year
I’m sitting here on a cold, miserable and rainy day, looking out of my window at the driving rain and wondering what on earth I can find to write about today. I guess like many people just now I’m not feeling at my most bouncy and exuberant, despite our area just coming out of Tier 4 restrictions. One of the classic Christmas songs we hear every year has these lyrics: “it’s the most wonderful time of the year”. Andy Williams goes on to sing about the joys of this season – with friends coming to call, parties to host, plenty of mistletoeing (is that even a word!?) and especially the fact that our “loved ones are near”. Well sadly, this year, we won’t really get to enjoy any of those experiences in the same way as usual and it certainly doesn’t feel like “the most wonderful time of the year”. It’s not really much fun to be honest, and I imagine that most of you are pretty fed up with 2020 by now.
But in actual fact, the very first Christmas was also a long way from the sepia-tinged nostalgic setting we sing about in the carols. A firelit stable with scented cattle gently lowing away in the background sounds like an idyllic find on AirBnB, but I’m pretty certain it wasn’t totally like that. Maybe this year will give us the chance to think again about the reality of that first dark, cold and isolated Christmas spent with strangers in an uncomfortable setting. Maybe this year we can identify a bit more with a young, scared couple, desperately trying to make sense of what was going on in their world and not knowing quite how it would all turn out. Just living from day to day and doing their best to trust that God would work things out. But in the midst of all the fear and the uncertainty of that time, a tiny bundle of hope and joy and love came into the world.
Even in the harsh reality of this COVID-affected Christmas, may you and your loved ones receive a fresh glimpse of that hope and that joy and that love during this season. Every blessing to you all for this Christmas and for the New Year ahead.