Scripture: Romans 15:13
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
We hear it over and over, 2020, what a year! There are memes floating around on social media, saying 2020 is going to be the next curse word. We all get it, we all feel it. Not much else needs to be said. It has been the year of years, but the calendar says we’re almost through it.
In a way, we are approaching the end.
Vaccines are being administered, providing a spark of hope we may be on our way to controlling this pandemic. Yet, healthcare experts warn, we are entering the worst time we’ve seen yet in terms of COVID-19. This happens to coincide with the Winter Solstice, the coldest, darkest time in the lunar year. Harsh political rhetoric and sharp divides are everywhere. Add to this, the plagues of racism, economic injustice, and ecological crisis. It is overwhelming, oftentimes, it seems easier to just say “this is all too much,” and pull the blankets back over our heads.
Amid the brokenness of the world, the hope and joy of the holiday season are hard to come by, it can be difficult to find reason to celebrate.
They are there. We’ve made it this far, that is in itself reason to celebrate. We’ve found ways to carry on and ways to make it and to help our neighbors make it. We have, numerous times, seen an outpouring of love and humanity all over the country and the world. Communities coming together, pooling resources to help neighbors get through. In a time of division and sadness, when the world feels so heavy, generosity and compassion are everywhere too.
2020 has been an extended Advent season, waiting and wading through a broken world, we struggled to find hope and joy. We did though, we held to the promise of better, of possibility. We knew at some point, there would be a game-changer. Whether that was a vaccine, or the uprising of a city demanding racial justice, an election, or the birth of a child to a poor, unwed mother in West Asia, we looked ahead with hope.
As we look toward the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, let us hold tight to the hope and possibility we can work to end the other pandemics that weigh down humanity. We believe in the promise of the Christ-child’s birth, we believe this is the game-changer we await.
God who is, who was, and is to come, as we await your advent here, help us hold tight to the promises you made in covenant with our foreparents. Help us find wisdom in the past and strength to do what needs to be done in the present, help us see the possibilities for a future that sees your will for a compassionate, just world for all become reality. This we ask with confident hope in a God who keeps promises. May it be so.
Jenn Luong, Pastoral Intern