The Weary World Rejoices

woman with a child in the living room
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O’ Holy Night is a classic Christmas song however this year the words seem to hit differently. For the last two weeks, I have pondered on the words, “the weary world rejoices.”

This year we have been on a rollercoaster of emotions with the virus continuing to spread, the heightened display of racial inequality, and the continued political strife. Many people are approaching the holidays with an empty chair as a loved one has died this year either from the virus or other ways.

No matter what has come, we can all agree how this year has brought many challenges. Plans shifted. Some small businesses are hanging on by a thread, people are without jobs and some for the first time ever are driving through lines of food banks just to receive necessities to care for their families.

Many find themselves weary and burdened.

This Christmas, I have talked to so many people who opted to put their Christmas decorations up earlier than normal. Many have been looking for some light in the midst of so much darkness.

I have consistently heard people utter the words, “it just doesn’t feel like Christmas.”

We have all experienced a lot. Maybe you find yourself weary this holiday season. Maybe the weight of this pandemic is hitting too close to home or for the first time ever you are spending the holidays alone.

Maybe just maybe the wait looks like it is never-ending.

Can I propose that we can rejoice in the midst of so much uncertainty? Not because of a change in our situations, but we can rejoice in the gift of Jesus Christ. 

As we approach Christmas, let us rejoice in the One who was born during a time of so much chaos; yet was sent to be with us and to nail our sins to the cross. Let us rejoice in the One who has conquered death and the grave. The One who has gifted us with His spirit and invites us to cast our cares on Him.

The One who is Love and encourages us to love others.

The One.

You might be weary, you might be heavy burdened. You might have gone through things that the world has seen or suffered in silence. If we continue to focus on our weariness, we will miss the beauty of this season. This year has been tough but let us not miss Jesus in it all. Let us worship the only One who has kept us this far. Let us be like the shepherds who when they first saw Jesus, they responded in worship. Let it be our example today, despite what it looks like, let us respond to Christmas with a heart of worship.

We can rejoice in O, Holy Night because Christ was born for you and for me.

Rejoice!

A Call to be the “church”

For the last few months, every day has been unpredictable. As the number of COVID cases increase in areas and new information is shared about the virus, it is a reminder of how different the times are right now.

Jobs have shifted, stores are operating differently, businesses are closing their doors and for many, the church has been unable to physically gather.

Through every closure, they are an increasing amount of needs.

I’ve been thinking about how much people need to feel loved and valued in this season. Whether they live alone or juggling everything with small children in the home; people need to be reminded of how loved they are.

In this season where there is so much that’s unknown, let’s be the church. Not the walls confined to a building but the actions produced from love and empathy. The church is way more than a building; it is a heart posture to love our neighbor.

How can you be the church in this season?

  • Serve: many communities are still in need whether it is helping to provide food for those who have lost their job, making masks for people who may be without or writing letters to front line employees expressing gratitude. Find creative ways to serve the needs of your community in a safe way.
  • Spread the Gospel: there are so many creative ways to make the Gospel known whether it is talking to a friend or loved one; sharing a church service on social media, encouraging people on social media, or sewing a Bible verse on the masks you are giving out. Ask God to reveal who in your world needs to know Him and pray that He softens their heart to be receptive of you to deliver the message.
  • Love your neighbor: with all of the racial injustices heightened and people acknowledging the oppressed, now more than ever there is a great need to show your love  by supporting those who look different than you. What a blessing it is to listen, lament and learn from other people.
  • Pray pray pray:  In Tony Evans Bible Commentary, he said that “prayer is an earthly request for heavenly intervention.” We need to collectively pray for all the decision-makers, health officials, and the people in our world. We need God to heal our land and stop this virus from spreading. We need God to expose and dispose of racism that has been embedded in our country. We need God to move. We need a spiritual awakening.

Oh what a time to be the church.