From Interim President, Dr. Donald Burke
For many of us, this will be a Christmas unlike any other. Restrictions that are in place can seem oppressive at times. Our shopping opportunities may be limited. We probably will have to rethink our family gatherings. Church services likely will be virtual with limited in-person worship opportunities. And, of course, the long shadow of sickness and COVID-related deaths will be cast over this season. Those are real and—in extreme cases—devastating losses. No one should minimize what this pandemic has cost so many.
Yet, while all of this will feel strange and many will experience a deep sense of loss this Christmas, I am left wondering whether we might just find that so many activities that have come to be considered essential to the celebration of Christmas, are in fact not quite so important. Perhaps the mad rush of Christmases past can be replaced with time to consider the other side of Christmas—not the commercial and social, but rather the spiritual. Perhaps we can carve out a few hours to reflect on the goodness of God, the mystery of the incarnation, and the joy that comes with God’s love made clear in the birth of a child.
So, in the circumstances of our day, I want to wish all the readers of this E-News, a wonderfully blessed Christmas. In these days, may you hear afresh the angel song and worship with the shepherds at the birth of a child—such a common event, but one in which the love of God is evident.