I’m almost afraid to write
anything. Before Easter I compared the covid crisis
to a storm that would that would come and go and
encouraged everyone to “shelter-in-faith” until it
blew by. To my credit, I don’t think any of us
thought we would be caught in a maelstrom the size
and duration of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot.
Does anyone else feel like this season will never
end? A better analogy, it seems, would have been to compare Covid-19
not to a storm or even a season, but an age (as in Ice Age).
So, you might understand if, with much fear and trembling, I call
upon the same words that I wrote about eight or nine months ago –
“this, too, shall pass.” We obviously don’t know how or when, but
even the glaciers of the Ice Age receded into history.
Meanwhile, we press on through the fog of these ‘unprecedented’ days
toward equally unprecedented holidays.
Don’t you wish you had a dollar for every time you’ve heard the word
‘unprecedented’ in 2020? I suppose that unless you are a centenarian
who lived through the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 these are
exceptional days in our lifetimes. But the word ‘unprecedented’
indicates something that has never happened before. Sadly, pandemics
– along with war, famine, earthquakes, floods, wildfires, and other
grand-scale calamities – have been around since the day creation
fell under the curse of death. Even the oft-ignored Old Testament
book of Ecclesiastes affirms, “Is there anything of which one can
say, “Look! This is something new?”
So why don’t we use the ‘u’ word in its proper sense? Let’s apply it
to a truly one-of-a-kind happening in history.
Like God being born as a human being - not just appearing in some
semblance of humanity, but embracing the full measure of human life
with all its wonder and frailty.
Occupying a womb - risking the painful process of birth.
The Power responsible for the construction and maintenance of the
universe becoming utterly dependent on the protection and provision
of a human mother? That’s never happened before.
Living – Growing – Learning - coming to understand who He was (Is!)
and why He was born.
The Greatest of All - humbling Himself among the least and embracing
all sinful humanity as His family.
being willing to wash in the same dirty water they used to feebly
symbolize their change of heart and life toward God and their fellow
humans. That’s new, isn’t it?
Loving - Teaching - Urging - Correcting - leading people to look at
their God with fresh eyes.
An immovable God - who would welcome the friendless
sinner, touch the untouchable leper, forgive the repentant
adulterer, sit at the table with the notorious, and personally dry
the tears of the mourner. That’s especially unique.
Wrestling – Weeping, the Author of Life travailing in sweat and
blood as He accepts the last and most crucial part of the mission
that He came to accomplish – to die in a most humiliating and
violent fashion at the hands of the humanity He loved so much.
The kind of love that can endure such undeserved hatred is
truly, divinely, without equal.
Rising from the dead a few days later - escaping the tomb? That’s a
feat not even the Great Houdini has been able to pull off. A
And he promised another advent, a coming day when He would not be
born, but the whole groaning world would be re-born into
unprecedented dimensions of peace and plenty, comfort and
contentment, health and wholeness when He takes control of this
globe gone wild. Can you imagine a world that will never again see
the likes of 2020 with its pandemic, elections, riots and
There’s only one word in our language that comes close to adequately
expressing all that Jesus is, has done, and will do –
How you celebrate Christmas may look substantially different this
year, but why you celebrate – the unprecedented birth of the
Son of God – can’t be touched by a virus. That’s more than
enough reason to have a Merry Christmas!