“And when they saw the star, they were so ecstatic that they shouted and celebrated with unrestrained joy.” Matt 2:10 TPT
This has been a year of disappointments. At first glance, Christmas 2020 is no different. Like everything else, how we celebrate Christmas has changed. The comfort that comes from being together is MIA since gathering together is difficult if not impossible. The joyful excitement of the season seems to be severely tempered or missing altogether. The spirit of Christmas seems as elusive as an honest politician. Both can be found, but you really have to search. It is an understatement to say that this Christmas seems less than comforting or joyful.
The pandemic, and everything else this year has thrown at us, has made radical changes to life. Experts say many of us are suffering from pandemic induced “brain fog” or PTSD. Many people are experiencing intense isolation and loneliness. Rates of depression and suicide are up. Domestic and child abuse is on the rise. People are experiencing great loss and are grieving those losses. Anger is often just under the thin facade of “keeping it all together.”
As hard as it may be to find this year, the spirit and hope of Christmas has not abandoned us. It seems to me that the appearance of the ‘Christmas Star’ is no coincidence. The star of Bethlehem announced the single most hopeful event in ALL history, the birth of Jesus. When the Bethlehem star dominated the night sky 2000 years ago, it declared the HOPE that Immanuel, “God with us”, had been born.
As the Christmas star makes its reappearance this year, I can’t help but believe that it is again proclaiming HOPE in our present difficulty. It is a bright light piercing our darkness to remind us that God is with us! He has not abandoned us. It is a reminder that 2000 years ago God sent His Son to be born into our world. He lived among us as a human being, experiencing all the joys and sorrows, struggles and accomplishments, love and grief that we experience. As. Result, He truly is a High Priest who knows what we are going trough.
That first Christmas however, wasn’t the pinnacle of the story. It was a prelude to the TRUE HOPE that “God with us” brings. Jesus was born and lived as one of us, not just to be a comforting presence who understands our needs and frailty. Ultimately He lived among us in order to give His life for us. Sin separated us from relationship with God. Jesus chose to be “God with us” in order to be the sacrifice for our sin. He became the unblemished Lamb whose crucifixion overcame sin and death and restored our relationship with God. Jesus reunited us with our greatest source of joy!
So celebrate the appearance of the Christmas star. Know that the star is a reminder that God loves us enough to have made the ultimate sacrifice for us. Be comforted by the knowledge that if God gave his own son to restore our relationship with Him, He will most certainly preserve us through the trials and tribulations life throws at us. Let the Christmas star be a promise of what He will continue to do in our lives no matter how difficult it may seem. Let it be a symbol of the comfort and joy that even 2020 can’t steal.