It is hard to believe that we are in the third week of Advent – just two weeks away from Christmas! This year, 2020, has dragged on with difficulty, yet it also seems to have flown by! Before you know it we will be ringing in the new year 2021. Doubtless we all have had difficult days and times of weariness in the midst of this pandemic. There have been times of angst and strife through this unprecedented political season. At the same time, however, there have been unceasing reasons for thankfulness and great joy! I am referring to the many miracles of God that continue to pop up around us every day. If we have the eyes to see them they should sustain us and lead us to hope and a response of joy.
Max Lucado speaks of such small miracles in his classic book God Came Near:
“…it is the normality not the uniqueness of God’s miracles that causes them to be so staggering. Rather than shocking the globe with an occasional demonstration of deity, God has opted to demonstrate his power daily. Proverbially. Pounding waves. Prism-cast colors. Birth, death, life. We are surrounded by miracles. God is throwing testimonies at us like fireworks, each one exploding, “God is! God is!”
Throughout this past year we have been forced to change our routines. This has not been easy, but it has also afforded us some much needed opportunities for new or modified rituals. We have been at home together more often. Our schedules, while disrupted, have given us the chance to be a little slower so that family can be more prominent in our daily routine. God has continued to cause the sun to rise and set every day, casting colors across the sky that serve no real purpose except our enjoyment. The ocean has continued to delight and be more beautiful than we may have ever thought or noticed in our former hurried pace. We have seen new babies born and shared their waking to the world through Zoom and photos in our livestream or YouTube every Sunday. We have found new creative solutions to worship or share drive-by donuts or trunk-or-treat or Advent stations because we could no longer do things in the old ways we have always done them. God’s creativity has not been hindered by our latest struggles. Now, as we do each year, we look forward to Christmas day and remind ourselves that what happened on the night Christ was born changed everything. As the carol Oh Holy Night states;
Long lay the world, in sin and error pining
‘Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth
A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices
For yonder breaks, a new and glorious morn
…and then there was Joy!
May you find great joy and happiness with your loved ones through your modified routines in the remainder of this holiday season. May you find time to recognize the little miracles God throws your way each day for the rest of this year.