Pandemic Tree

If 2020 Were A Christmas Tree . . .

A friend recently posted a picture of her Christmas tree. The sad thing had given up the ghost a full week before the big day. In the heading, she wrote “If 2020 were a Christmas tree……” No shortage of hilarious comments followed.

A Painful Year

It’s safe to say that 2020 was a year like no other—for all of us. What began with the hopeful anticipation of rowdy New Year’s Eve celebrations soon gave way heartbreaking scenes of overflowing morgues. 2020 will forever be remembered as “the year of the pandemic.” Not “the year of perfect vision” as so many had hoped.

For those who have lost jobs, businesses, and especially loved ones, the end of the year feels more like a funeral march than the end of a marathon. At the same time, no one has been immune to the pain. The compelling push to stay isolated has drained the life of vitality of so many more.

A lot of people felt compelled to begin their Christmas preparations early. They put up lights and started listening to carols long before usual. And commercialism had nothing to do with it! Christmas has long offered a sense of joy and hope—even for those who lack a deep faith in God.

If 2020 Were A Christmas Tree…

Still, even with its early beginnings, Christmas seems off this year. A multitude of meaningful traditions have been derailed by the hideous coronavirus. No Christmas parties. No joyful gatherings to sing carols. No family get-togethers to drink holiday cheer and feast on roast beast. Suddenly, the joy of Christmas doesn’t seem so magical.

This holiday season will certainly be different for our family. My wife’s mother passed early in the year. This will be Debi’s first Christmas ever that she didn’t spend time with her mom. Our kids will also be absent from our home as they work to serve others.

Christmas Will Never Lose Its Power!

Despite the many negatives, Christmas still holds tremendous meaning—perhaps even more so. I’m reminded of that special scene from my favorite holiday movie (the animated version, of course) when the infamous Grinch saw the light of Christmas like never before.

What happens with us changes NOTHING about the essence of Christmas! The Son of God still came to earth to save people from their sins and to restore our relationship with our Creator. Angels still announced a message of peace and good will. The kingdom of God still established its beachhead on a sin-stricken planet. Nothing that does or doesn’t happen in our world can change the heart of what Christmas is all about.

And perhaps, that is what makes Christmas so special. Its power lies not with human traditions, but with the eternal hope of the Almighty God. Christmas will never lose its potency regardless of what happens in our world.

A Christmas Prayer

With so many peripherals removed, I pray that, this season would be a time when we connect with our Lord and Savior like never before. I pray that the light of heaven will rise in our hearts, vanquishing the thick darkness that has weighed so many of us down. May our hearts hold fast to the eternal truth of God’s glory, fixed on an anchor of hope that no storm can budge.

The power of Christmas can never be extinguished, and a fresh revelation of hope awaits all who choose to press in and believe!

Bob Santos is the author of The Search for Rest: Fifty Days to a More Peaceful Life.

Photo used by permission.