“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that
will cause great joy for all the people (Luke 2.10)”
has additional meaning this Christmas because of the
pain of the pandemic and vaccine for the COVID-19 virus
Pondering the sorrow of the Coronavirus and
the joy of Christmas as intricately linked
can generate our most precious
gift on Christmas morning
Treasuring the Sorrow of the Coronavirus and the Joy of Christmas
“Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart (Luke 2.19),” can also have additional meaning if we treasure the joy of Christmas and ponder the sorrow of the pandemic together in our heart.
May the most treasured gift that we embrace this Christmas be our intricately linked feelings of pandemic-sorrow and Christmas-joy. “If you truly call out for discernment and cry aloud for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search it out like hidden treasure, then you will discern the fear of the LORD and discover the knowledge of God (Proverbs 2.3–5).”
Let us call out for discernment and seek it out in order to treasure the intricately linked sorrow of the Coronavirus and the joy of Christmas and like Mary treasure the things that are upon us and ponder them in our heart as sacred sorrow.
“For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also (Matthew 6.21).”
Pondering the Sorrow of the Coronavirus and the Joy of Christmas
“Ponder(ing) in your heart upon your bed, and be still (Psalm 4.4), is encouraged in the Psalms. The Psalmist cried “I lie awake thinking of you, meditating on you through the night. (Psalm 63.6).”
The Psalmist, however, also cried, “…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5). Therefore, may we ponder the sorrow and weep tonight over the surge of the pandemic that grips us now. And yet, may we also feel an infused Christmas joy because of a surging vaccination that is loosening the grip of the pandemic more and more by each morning.
Our Most Precious Gifts this Christmas
One precious Christmas gift is the vaccine for the coronavirus. We watched and read the good news that the vaccine was on the move in the United States and in other countries. We saw people cheering as the vaccine was loaded and people clapping as the massive delivery of the vaccine began. This was a defining moment in the history of the United States and other countries.
Another precious Christmas gift is ourselves. Opening ourselves as a gift to others, after pondering and treasuring intricately linked feelings of pandemic-sorrow and Christmas-joy, can lead to numerous opportunities to help and support others, be they family members, members of our community, city, or country or fellow humans across the globe.
“Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone (Galatians 6.10)” and “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act (Proverbs 3.27).”
Perhaps we will continue, or will seek out new ways, to further comfort our family, friends, and neighbors, explore ways to share our resources and connect and volunteer virtually, or join a local, national, or international mutual aid network.
“Live honorably in every way (Hebrews 13.18),” and “increase and abound in love for one another and for all (1 Thessalonians 3.12),” so that “your love may abound yet more and more (Philippians 1.19),” which is why the Christ-child was born.