I have a deep love of Christmas carols.
There have been years when I’ve begun playing their sweet tunes in October, which totally annoys all those in my home.
Not so much this year. There’s a more profound sense of seriousness this holiday season that supersedes the typical lightness. No “Jingle Bells” or “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer” yet.
My mood matches what I’ve been hearing around me.
A good friend just recovered from COVID and has been anticipating her family coming to visit for Christmas. She’s moved to Orlando from Colorado and has been missing those she loves. But family is nervous that they may be at risk.
My sister had planned on flying to California to visit my brothers for Christmas, but with the increased lockdown in that state, that had to be canceled. She will be alone for the holiday.
Another friend is expecting her fourth child and had hoped her parents would be able to come to Florida to help with her three very adorable and active young boys. But travel feels uncomfortable and problematic, so they’ve had to postpone their trip.
These are disruptions that make life uncomfortable, plans that fall through that can’t be helped.
Sadness is a refrain repeated again and again.
With six children, all married, we have to organize our holidays so we can be together on scheduled years. This was to be our year to gather as a family, and everyone loves the chance to reconnect. The cousins love to be together.
But life occurrences aren’t things we can control. One of our daughters and her family won’t be able to come because of the circumstances she can’t alter.
That’s a collective disappointment.
2020 has played a tune of dismalness and pain, a refrain of suffering and disappointment. Many are struggling with a new reality they never asked for, a new normal that doesn’t feel normal at all. It’s not a song anyone wants to repeat.
It’s the kind of world Jesus was born into. It had been four hundred years since the last prophet of Israel had spoken of God’s hope and plan for His people. Four hundred years of silence that made everyone uncomfortable.
Where is God in all of this? Why doesn’t He say something? Why doesn’t He let us know He cares?
These are the same questions people ask today. If He really is a loving God, why doesn’t He do something about all the heartache and pain in the world?
Changing laws, electing new leaders, protesting what is wrong, and pushing for what is right won’t change the hearts of people.
You can’t legislate hope and fairness.
It’s why God sent His Son at Christmas. He knows that to see real change, only heart change makes a difference.
That’s a choice.
He came to show us His love, to offer Himself as the Change Agent who can be the true hope we need in a world that has always been and will always be messy and hurtful.
What is the tune He sings to us?
It’s a love song of promise and peace sung to our hearts.
You have to listen to hear it.