What is normality?

Friday Reflection

18th December 2020

'we long for a change of circumstances'

78 because of the tender mercy
   of our God,
   by which the rising sun
   will come to us from heaven
79 to shine on those
   living in darkness
   and in the shadow of death,
   to guide our feet into
   the path of peace."

.... Luke 1:78-79 NIV

2020 seems to have worn down
the most resilient of us
and we long for a change
of circumstances.

Even the thought of Christmas
with all it's challenges
this year, is failing to
bring the hope of joy to many.

In all the waiting,
hoping and praying for life
to return to the normality
of volunteer work,
house groups,
visits to family friends
and worship,
I read an interesting slant
on the situation.
Perhaps I was looking at things
from the wrong perspective.

When Jesus came to earth,
he came to change people,
not the circumstances
in which they found themselves.

Perhaps we should be praying
that we will overcome
and shine in our present
situations rather than
praying that our situations
should be changed.

Of course,
each slow and awaited return
has been welcomed
and celebrated;
when our churches were
once more opened
and we could enjoy
corporate worship once more,.

Even in a limited capacity
and wearing masks,
I was so grateful.

It was wonderful to
walk back into the building
with its familiar atmosphere
and faces
(at least above the masks).

Talking to various children,
they too are very pleased
to get back to school.

But I'm not sure
I'm ready for Christmas yet.
I want everything
to get back to normal
first and then have a
normal Christmas
with all the trimmings.

The carol services,
the Midnight service,
meeting with family,
friends and neighbours.

But I'm beginning
to realise that the
very core of Christmas
is just what we all need
right now -
not in perfect circumstances
but in the midst of
all the mess.

Zachariah's message above,
prophesies the coming of Christ.
Before Jesus came to save us
there was darkness and turmoil,
rather like now.

People thought they knew
what they needed,
but actually the birth of
Jesus and how he would
rescue us escaped them.

we may not think we
are ready for,
or can even open
our hearts to,
the joy of the Christmas
season this year.

Perhaps this year,
of all years,
we need it more than ever.

This year it's been hard
to find joy;
it's been hard to see the light
leading to the true
meaning of Christmas.

But let's be challenged
to do things differently.
Instead of praying for
our circumstances to change,
let's pray that we will flourish
where we are.

Knowing and believing that
the star of wonder
and the miracle of Christmas
is coming, even if it is,
at this moment,
hidden behind thick,
dark clouds.