What a challenging year 2020 has been!
It was December 2019 when the first cases of Covid 19 were discovered and what began as an epidemic in one country quickly became a global pandemic. As the governments of each country responded, our lives changed in ways we could not have imagined a year ago. It is understandable that people have struggled as a result – in all sorts of ways – so please don’t think for a moment that I am being glib when I say that now, more than ever, we need to pray and give thanks. Not that it is wrong to ask God that he would be present in these difficult times or that his hand might be upon the situations we and others find ourselves in but we should understand that he is always present and already working in the lives of those who trust in him. No, this is the time, as we come to the end of one year and look towards a brighter tomorrow, to thank him for all he has given us.
There is a meme flying around social media at the moment whose words have struck home with me. Perhaps they will resonate with you also?
“This is not the year to get everything you want. This is the year to appreciate everything you have.” Author unknown.
So, I invite you to enter this season of Advent with gratitude in your heart, counting your blessings as we approach a Christmas that will no doubt be different from what we are used to but still proclaims the same, wonderful message that Love came down and was born among us – Emmanuel, God with us. That is what lies at the heart of Christmas and nothing we face can diminish the truth and hope and love contained within it.
With every blessing,
A prayer for Christmas and the New Year:
God of eternity, you hold all worlds in the palm of your hand, yet your love for us was so great that, in Jesus, you entered our time and space and became a manger child for us.
Be with us, we pray, as we journey through Advent and wonder at the miracle of Christmas. And, as we tread with trepidation but also with hope into the New Year, help us put our trust in you.