Carolyn Merry 18 Dec 2020
I have been reflecting over advent that Christmas for me this year has some of the feelings I associate more with Easter Saturday or of times sitting in hospitals awaiting news of loved ones. Long hours of waiting when we must hold different truths together, profound grief and despair, with equally profound hope and the joyful promise of life. That is what Christmas feels like for me this year - I wonder if in some way, that is true for you? Caught between the insecurity and grief 2020 has held including a Christmas that cannot be all we may want it to be….and the hope inherent in Christmas that can sustain us (even if falteringly at times) through the long winter ahead. For me recognising those 2 emotions and being able to hold them in tension this Christmas will be the gift I give myself. Knowing this will not be the Christmas I would want for myself or others, and yet allowing the hope of Christmas to bubble up in new and even more meaningful ways. Giving space for angels to whisper; 'Do not be afraid…for today a child is born’. Giving myself permission to feel the full gamut of emotions that this year has wrought ….and still defiantly and with humility, light my Christmas candle and say O Come Emmanuel - God with us.
I pray this Christmas, that you;
Give space for celebration….and grief.
Give space for joy …. and weariness.
Give space to honour all that we have been grateful for in 2020,
And acknowledge all the ways it has broken us.
Give time to those able to gather with you in person &
Find ways to figuratively run to those you cannot meet and gather them in your arms in the warmest of homecomings.
Give space for traditions to falter in this year of COVID and give permission for simplicity to arise.
Give space for generosity and community to envelop those who may otherwise fall through the gaps this Christmas, including yourself.
Give yourself and your loved ones time to tune out to the global and be fully present in your home.
Let's give ourselves space to let go of expectations
And the space to hold on to hope,
To hold on to peace
To hold on to love.
And whatever our faith or traditions, as we draw 2020 to a close - may we all be nourished and sustained by hope and peace and love….
Peace and Blessings
“Knowing this will not be the Christmas I would want for myself or others, and yet allowing the hope of Christmas to bubble up in new and even more meaningful ways. ” —