Marcia Dixon MBE looks back over a difficult 12 months…
As Christmas approaches, and maybe for the first time in living memory, society may actually be celebrating this unique historical event aka Christmas 2020 with the right attitude.
Christmas should be a time when the world focuses on the significance of the miraculous birth of Jesus Christ.
To be fair, there are some who do use this time to reflect on Christ’s birth and being charitable, but in truth Christmas does seem to have been overtaken by an inordinate focus by the wider world to use this life changing religious festival as an opportunity to spend lots of money on presents, gorge on food and go out and party.
One good thing that has come out of the COVID-19 pandemic and the accompanying lockdown is that it has caused everyone to think deeply about life and reflect on what’s truly important.
From conversations I’ve had and things I’ve read, 2020 has made many come to some of the following conclusion about life and faith.
- Humans are mortal. We are not here for ever. Death can take us at any moment and that’s why it’s important for us to get right with God, forgive our enemies, love our neighbours and fulfil God’s purposes in our lives
- Family, friendship and socialising with others is what makes life enjoyable and meaningful
- God is our strength, protector and healer. He is also our peace. Praying and reading scripture can be the perfect antidote to anxiety and stress
- There’s more goodness, kindness and generosity in the world than we ever thought possible
- We are adaptable people and can deal with drastic change. Look how everyone adapted to living, working, worshipping and commemorating life’s key moments via Zoom or other online apps when the lockdown stopped them meeting others publicly
- No lockdown, pandemic, tragedy or circumstance can stop the purposes of God from being fulfilled, for example, during the height of the pandemic people of all ages came out in their droves to protest against the unjust killing of George Floyd and state that black lives matter
- Even during life’s difficulties God can still bless his people. He is also a provider and a ‘very present help in the time of need.”
- There’s no use in holding on to bitterness and hatred. Now is the time to forgive
2020 has been a difficult year for many and none of us know what 2021 holds. We don’t even know if we’ll be allowed to have our families over for dinner!!! However, the message of Christmas is this. Jesus Christ, the son of God was born of a virgin, in a stable and came to save humanity from their sins.
He also came to give us peace, joy and hope in the midst of confusion and if ever there was a time when we need to take to heart the reason for Christ’s birth it’s now.
Journalist Marcia Dixon is a regular columnist for Keep The Faith magazine, which is the UK’s leading Black and multi-ethnic Christian publication.
This piece first appeared in Keep The Faith magazine issue 117, p30