And then, above all this chaos, a cacophony of relentless noises, something wonderful came and brought peace. It happened back in the past; it happens right now. Christmas descended as quietly as snow falls down. It covered all existing, filled hearts with consideration to each other, with kindness, and compassionate sacrifice. From a house to a house, a light spread, as if every neighbour in a somewhat of a pattern placed candles on the window, and turned on the lanterns in the garden. In the middle of what was called a plague, a devastating event, one day once again brought a reminder of God’s fulfilled promises, once again planted hope, and once again promised peace on Earth.
This Christmas day will differ from all others. I sit here, staring at the ending year and trying to recall if last year I have had the slightest guess whether next Christmas Eve would be spent in the company of my husband and me only. To assure you, no, such an image had never visited my mind. More than that, we tend to observe the future as something rather predictable. Celebrating Christmas, I only had a natural inclination to look forward to the next year, where the gaiety of gathering with family and friends wouldn’t change. Where the same traditions would only grow stronger. Returning to Christmas celebrations I had as a child, and then to the last year, which was my second year of celebrating it with in-law family, I notice similarities, and the biggest one is a cheerful crowd of the family spread around the living room, carol sounds, and a growing sense of gratitude and warmth something in the middle of my chest.
By no means it should appear as a complaint because of a quiet way to celebrate Christmas this year. I consider this new experience as something intimate, something unique; the evening of lit candles and a table set for two, the last year for just two of us before we become parents. More than that, as I observe the whole matter of the celebration in the middle of the pandemic, I conclude that our quiet evening could not be anything but pleasure. (One of my neighbours had lost her husband a few months ago. As I write this, I can see her kitchen window, and my only prayer is that she would experience the joy of Christmas in her heart despite the fact she will have to spend that day alone.)
When Jesus was born, Israel was under pressure and restraint of the Roman Empire. That occupation did not seem to end. In fact, Herod’s rulement lasted for about thirty years. What I am trying to say, to bring a parallel, is the fact that this Christmas we, as much as Israel back then, might feel certain restrain. Indeed, we might be occupied by virus spread, government restrictions, and still in the middle of all that Jesus comes once again, bringing infinite hope and peace to those who believe. Nothing really changed since 4 BC (approximate date of Jesus’s birth), we as humans still struggle, live in contradicting emotions of fear, disappointment, failed expectations. And yet, as much as a change to a truly content life was possible back then-it is possible now. It merely can be found in Christ, the one who was born in Bethlehem.
Merry Christmas, everyone!