In some ways, the year 2020 has flown by. In other ways, it has dragged on interminably.
We take the good with the bad, and we can do nothing else. But we can, at least, be grateful that we live in South Australia, and so far, have not had any instances COVID-19 in any Resthaven aged care residential homes. Thus it is with a mixture of joy and trepidation that we look to the future. I wonder if Mary, the mother of Jesus, also felt both joy and trepidation as she approached the time for the birth of her first child.
Like most women today who find out the gender of their baby in advance, Mary knew that she would bear a son. When her baby boy was presented at the temple, the wise old Simeon blessed her and then told her, “sorrow will pierce your heart like a sword” (Luke 2:35). The life she had been excitedly looking forward to would not be the life she thought it would. Over and over again, Mary must have had to grieve the loss of her expectations for her son. She had been told that he would provide light, revelation, glory and salvation. But she had not imagined the excruciating way in which her son’s life would end, nor the new life that would be brought to all humanity as a result.
The future was unimaginable. We sit at a place in history where we cannot predict the future. We sit with joy. We sit with trepidation. We sit, with Mary, in hope.
We live in uncertain times. But God is here, in the person of Jesus, whose name “Immanuel” literally means “God is with us”. Let us give thanks for the past, enjoy the present, and look forward with hope to the future.
Blessings to you and your loved ones this festive season.