It’s been another long, and at times, terrible year, so tonight may feel like a far cry from the Christmas Eves you grew up with. We’re not living in a Hallmark movie or Jacquie Lawson e-card. If you go to church tonight or for that matter, anywhere in public, I hope you wear a mask. Like me, you may feel so weary and disheartened from Covid and all that comes with it. You may be stuck in an airport and frustrated because you can’t get home to see family members. There may be an empty chair at your table and an empty place in your heart. You might be an essential worker—a healthcare professional or an Amazon driver or a clerk at the convenience store for whom Christmas Eve is just another shift.
But through all this mess we’ve created, we somehow manage to light our trees and light our candles. We cook the meals and call our friends and figure out a way to make it work, no matter what. We hold those we love close, even if it’s through a virtual hug or facetime visit. We reach out to those who need us, we sing through our masks, we keep loving and hoping and giving because that’s what Christmas means.
Because, like the powerful text from Leslie Leyland Fields that my husband and I were privileged to sing last weekend, the stable still astonishes.