This time last year we were faced with what many called a ‘Covid Christmas’. Homes across the world were in Lockdown and who can forget the Christmas dinners shared over Zoom? Now this year we face a new variant and we don’t know what restrictions will be in place as we transition into 2022. No matter what, let’s not be fearful or discouraged.
Remember, God is the author and finisher of our faith. What He has started in our lives, He will take to completion. He is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, and no Delta or Omicron or any other variant named after the Greek alphabet is a match for Him. Everything has to ultimately bow to our Mighty God. So we shouldn’t let the possibility of another Covid Christmas or New Year get us down.
You may feel frustrated that you may once again have to celebrate the birth of our Lord in quarantine or lockdown. But actually the first Christmas was simple enough, so it’s ok if ours is simple too! Christmas has always been about bringing people together so it’s really disappointing when this isn’t possible. However, remember the first Christmas – there was no room in the inn and our Saviour was born in a lowly manger. Things were far from perfect and yet it was glorious. This is something that comes across so powerfully watching The Chosen 2021 Christmas Special.
Getting back to the challenges we focus today, how do we survive another ‘Covid Christmas’ or any challenging season in life for that matter? Thinking about it, I came up with a few things, and this isn’t an exhaustive list!
1 We must trust God in the situation
Life isn’t always easy. It is filled with many challenges, some things we can control and others we can’t. Christians have learnt to rely on God no matter what the situation and have faith. We also know the importance of being filled with His joy and having a peace that passes understanding. The Serenity Prayer seems rather apt when our best plans are suddenly forced to change. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”
2 We can adjust our attitude
Praying a prayer like this, which is said regularly in recovery groups, means adjusting one’s attitude. In praying it we humble ourselves before God, knowing that you and I are not in control. We pass our burdens over to Jesus because we know He cares for us. This empowers us to give thanks in each and every situation we find ourselves. You may have heard the expression, ‘attitude of gratitude’ and that is exactly what is needed to sustain us in tough times. Why, because “our attitude determines our altitude’ to use another well known expression.
3 Reach out and encourage others
God’s Word teaches us then when one suffers we all suffer. We know that with the same measure of comfort we have received, we can comfort others. So despite any so called ‘Covid Christmas’ reach out to others and encourage them. Yes, you have to do it via phone, messaging or video conferencing, the method matters not. What is important is that you share the joy of Christmas as best you can, especially with those who are unwell, grieving or depressed.
4 Read the Word and Pray
These first three action points will work best when they are bathed in prayer and God’s Word. Daily Bible reading brings God’s light into your life every morning. If you don’t have a Bible reading plan I recommend The Bible in One Year with Nicky Gumbel. Somehow God uses it to speak to you in the most extraordinary ways. For example this is what I read this morning: “Throughout the year, as we have studied the entire Bible, we have seen that we should not expect an easy life,” Nicky writes. “The Bible is true to real life. Life involves many struggles, trials, tests, temptations, difficulties and battles. Yet in Christ you can be an overcomer.”
5 Walk in love
I’m pretty sure the term Covid Christmas fits into that list of challenges. However, as the Bible teaches us so clearly, we shall overcome! And as believers we will do it by love. “Love is the most powerful force in the world,” Nicky Gumbel continues… we overcome through love. This was the message of Martin Luther King who said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that’. “
6. Have peace with God
Together we can overcome a Covid Christmas. Remember the central message of Christmas is “peace on earth and goodwill to all men.”
Let’s put our faith in God, have a good attitude, connect with others, read the Bible and pray and most of all, let us remember that love never fails. God so loved the world that He sent His only son, Jesus, who we celebrate at this time, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life. We find these words in the famous scripture John 3:16.
If you haven’t yet surrendered your life to God, visit Find Peace to learn how you can experience the gift of God! Here, one of the greatest evangelists of all time, Billy Graham shares how to find peace in the middle of the panic.
Also read: Covid 19 – How to make a positive stand against the virus