Month: November 2020

COVID & Christmas

The year 2020 has been unusual – you’ve heard that before!! COVID has left its mark on society, politics, health and the economy. As we approach Christmas, it may give us an opportunity to reflect on what we’ve learnt.

There are many negatives, of course, such as the lockdowns, economic downturn, unemployment, travel restrictions, loneliness, depression, and much more. But, in light of Christmas and the “giving” season, I am also wondering what positives “gifts” we can take with us into the future? I do believe this COVID period has given us some gifts – gifts we probably wouldn’t have noticed or appreciated if they were not taken from us!

Take time to reflect on the some of these gifts or lessons.

  • Learn to appreciate the gift of friendships, visits, worshipping together in the same venue without fear of infection, the hugs, smiles … and much more. Don’t take anything for granted!
  • Be mindful of those who are single and lonely. Many do not have a house, garden or companion to share their locked-in environment.
  • Appreciate freedom of movement, even going to your workplace and rubbing shoulders with others. In the past people would often yearn to have “home office”, but being forced to stay at home during this time has given it a different perspective, I think!
  • Enjoy faces, facial expressions, smiles … without a mask covering it up. Look people in the face.
  • Enjoy the gift of clean hands, soap and practicing good hygiene to avoid catching viruses and other illnesses.

During this time we’ve learned to live with change – things can change overnight! But the one constant and unchangeable truth is that God is our Rock and Salvation (Psalm 62:1). Learn to trust in Him for comfort, care and protection, especially since He dealt with the deadliest virus of all, namely sin which Jesus removed when He gave us the greatest gift of all, His own life. The “vaccine” to deal with sin has been given and approved  a long time ago!

May we have a healthy, joyful and Christ-filled holiday season.

Dealing with disappointment

I guess we are all familiar with disappointments and can tell story after story about disappointments we experienced as a children and even as adults. It’s also no secret that different personalities handle these disappointments very differently. On the one extreme people will simply go quiet and withdraw, while on the other end of the spectrum people will react verbally, with anger, and much emotion.

Most of us had hoped that, by now, this Coronavirus would be “under control”, whatever “under control” means. Maybe that life as we used to know it (how long ago was it?) will return, or that medical science would have come up with a treatment that works, or that the thing will simply go away! But here we are … facing yet another lockdown as cases in Europe (and other countries) seem to spiral out of control. What a disappointment! Most of us are tired of this way of life, forced to stay indoors, wear masks, meet via cyberspace, keep social distancing, and much more. Psychologists actually refer to it as COVID fatigue and even Zoom fatigue! Tired, disappointed.

There is an incident in the life of Samuel that may help us shift or focus during this current disappointment. The first king of Israel, Saul, selected by God and anointed by Samuel, became a major disappointment to both God and Samuel because of disobedience. This caused much mourning on the part of Samuel (1 Sam 15:35) … until God said to him, “How long will you grieve over Saul, since I have rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your horn with oil, and go. I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons” (1 Sam 16:1).

In the midst of grief, disappointment and mourning over Saul, God found King David, from whom would come the King and Messiah, Jesus Christ our Saviour.

Maybe the message for us is: Look up, look ahead, look around to see what God can bring about in the midst of this pandemic!