As we prepare for the 3rd weekend of Advent, we ponder the word joy.
Joy wasn’t my strongest emotion this week, the week they cancelled Christmas. At least that is what a nurse told me when I asked where the Christmas trees were. Didn’t you hear? She asked…
Yes, Christmas is different in 2020. We can’t gather, we miss our hugs and social interactions. We miss the church pageants and Carol singing and I miss the girlfriends gathering for lunch.
More than that I’ve been witness to suffering on a deeper level. Discouragement and exhaustion in frontline workers. Deep loneliness for those in care homes and hospitals. Anger and deep divisions among those who don’t believe the virus is a real threat.
Although there is great hope of the announcements of vaccines there is also much suspicion and fear, Winter is upon us, this dark season, and not even Christmas seems too cheerful this year.
My heart was especially with those who are truly suffering. Some are dying. Some whom I know. These days are precious, as they cherish each sweet moment with their loved ones.
As I’ve looked for joy, I’ve also had to look at my sadness. It has been real, felt deeply. As I thought on these things, a devotional from Henri Nouwen arrived, and it couldn’t be more timely.
Isn’t that powerful? I found great solace in that.
Was there a moment … known only to God, when all the stars held their breath, when the galaxies paused in their dance for a fraction of a second, and the Word, who had called it all into being, went with all his love into the womb of a young girl … and the universe started to breathe again, and the ancient harmonies resumed their song, and the angels clapped their hands for joy? (Watch for the Light – Readings for Advent and Christmas).
I wonder… are the stars holding their breath these days? Does God, who I truly believe is Love, have a bigger plan than we can imagine? For surely, even in our suffering, we will come to know joy.