Well, it’s almost Christmas. And I assume that, like me, your Christmas is going to look really different this year. For the last six Christmas Eves, when we’re finished with our Christmas Eve worship, Amanda and I have joined John and Vanessa Hewitt and their family for a Tex-Mex Christmas Eve feast.
We’re not doing that this year because of the pandemic.
And ever since I’ve been in ministry, I’ve not travelled for Christmas – I made a commitment to spend Christmas and Easter – our two most important holidays – with my church family. So on Christmas day, Amanda and I always go see 2-3 movies in the theater, and then start watching all our Christmas must-watches (like Love Actually, Die Hard and Christmas Vacation).
A reality we had to face this year is that we’re not going to have our Christmas traditions thanks to COVID. No Tex-Mex Christmas Eve with dear friends. No movie theaters on Christmas Day.
I know we’re all in that same boat, and now – just days before Christmas, it’s hitting us hard. Family we’re not seeing. Trips we’re not taking. Necks we’re not hugging. Presents arriving by mail rather than down chimneys.
And, again, I know we’ve all known this for a while, but it’s really starting to sink in now. And over the next week, it’s going to be even more painfully real.
So today, on this final Advent Sunday, let’s explore how we celebrate Christmas in the midst of this disappointment. We’re going to do that as we have throughout this series, by charting out the intersection of the four lectionary passages for this week. And what we’ll see is that the good news of Advent is that God meets us in our disappointment. God’s no stranger to Plan B, C or even D.