Christmas 2020 - Love in the Time of Coronavirus
Christmas is expected to be a time of celebration, and as a Christian I whole-heartedly believe that it is one of the greatest joys to celebrate God coming to live among us in the person of Jesus.
But as I read the Biblical account of Christmas I encounter the nuances of human history and experience. The angels announcement of peace and good news did not reflect the world as it was, but proclaimed what the world was so desperately in need of.
The backdrop to the story of the birth and childhood of Jesus is pain and brokenness. The familiar image of Jesus held in the arms of Mary is a powerful one. God incarnate held against a human chest. The Prince of Peace clasped against a young person who in her short life had already experienced so much turmoil and upheaval. The One who would bring healing pressed close to a mother who had experienced not only the physical pain of childbirth but also the emotional pain of relational misunderstanding. The embodiment of love embraced by a girl who had given birth for the first time far away from family and friends.
We are living in a difficult time. With our lives thrown into chaos and upheaval and our families torn apart it may seem like the wrong setting for Christmas. But it is the backdrop Jesus chose when He came to earth as a baby, and in which He continues to come to us.
So this Christmas in our pain, our turmoil, our aloneness let us hold Jesus close, and listen to the message of peace and good news which we so desperately need.
Anna Heydon, Imagine Norfolk Together, Great Yarmouth