There is a line in the Carol, O Holy Night, '"thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices".
That line captures for me the essence of Christmas this year. The world is weary. Weary of lockdowns, of restrictions, of uncertainty, of tensions between family and friends about how to respond to Covid and vaccinations.
What is in short supply this Christmas is hope. We are living a subsistence life, coping from day-to-day. We struggle to imagine things can improve. We avoid planning and hoping for things in the future because we don’t want our hopes dashed again. We are in self-protection and self-preservation mode.
Note that Carol wasn't written in the past few months. It has been sung for centuries, and it captures the cries of the human condition across generations. First-century Israel was also a weary, hopeless world.
That is the world Jesus comes to. Those are the people Jesus comes to save. As you prepare for Christmas day, can I suggest you might ask yourself a question or two?
Are you feeling weary? If so why? Weary of what?
Second, how does Jesus bring hope to the weary world?
I look forward to sharing with you on a new and glorious morn the hope that Jesus brings to a weary world.
Rev David Rietveld