You will fill me with joy in your presence.
(Psalm 16:11 NIV)
Last month, I ran into Ebenezer Scrooge. And while I was trying to take a picture with him, true to his character, Scrooge pointed to the Christmas activities around us and asked me if I was into all this “bah humbug” and after reflecting on his question, I replied with an emphatic, “Yes!” Needless to say, I stuck around on that rainy and cold night to watch the performance of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol.
As I stood there watching the wonderful, new rendition of one of my favourite Christmas stories, I couldn’t help but think about how, in a sense, many of us have become like Ebenezer Scrooge. With the impact of the pandemic, the world has lost much of its hope, peace and joy. And while many might still put up their Christmas decorations, attend Christmas gatherings and other festivities that they’re accustomed to around this time of year, I wonder how many are genuinely excited about this time of year? This year, like the last, hasn’t been an easy one for all of us. The spirit of Christmas present only leaves us longing for the spirit of Christmas past where things were a bit more merrier. And we don’t even want to know where the spirit of Christmas future will carry us.
But in the midst of it all, I still find hope in the story of Christmas, the Christ child who came to bring healing and joy to all who are discouraged and depressed. And believe me when I say that the closer we draw to Him, the merrier we will be. His Spirit can revive our spirits and restore our joy and peace. Because in the midst of a changing world, God’s presence and joy remain constant. And like Tiny Tim, I choose to pray and declare, “God bless us, every one!”