Christmas 2020: Light and Hope for a Dark World
For most of us, 2020 has been a year like nothing that we have experienced before. A global pandemic, an economic crisis, a time of anxiety and uncertainty and isolation, and for some of us, a time of grief and despair. All of us have tried our best to adjust to a ‘new normal’ that has left almost no part of our lives unchanged. As we approach Christmas, we also approach the anniversary of Covid’s arrival. If you are like me, the question that weighs on our minds this Christmas is, “when will all this end, and things return to normal?”. If that is your question, Christmas is very good news indeed.
We live in a world that is full of disasters and division, disease and depression, a world of death. The brokenness of our world is one way God reminds us that we have a broken relationship with him. For we have all failed to live rightly under God’s rule. In our sin, we love and pursue other things instead of him. But rejecting our Creator is a serious thing, because he is the source of life and deserves our praise. We deserve to be cast for all eternity into the outer darkness, away from God’s presence and blessing.
But at Christmas we celebrate God’s gift of a Saviour – Jesus Christ. We remember that Jesus entered our world, with all its darkness and pain, that he might rescue us from sin, restore our relationship with God, and bring us to a new world. The prophet Isaiah prophesied of Jesus’ birth:
2 The people who walked in darkness
have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness,
on them has light shone.
6 For to us a child is born,
to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.~ Isaiah 9: 2, 6
Jesus came to shine light on our dark world. In his life, Jesus shined forth the light of God’s goodness and love. On the cross, Jesus suffered in darkness, taking on himself the punishment for our sin. Three days later, at the break of dawn, he rose again to shine forth the hope of eternal life to our dark and dying world.
That little baby, born in a manger, would grow up to become the King of Kings and the Saviour of the world. God promises that all who turn to Jesus as their Saviour and King will become his children and receive eternal life. When Jesus returns, he will bring an end, not only to Covid, but to all mourning, sickness, crying and pain (Rev. 21:4). He will usher in a new world, that will never again be stained by sin and death. That is the ‘new normal’ that we long for the most. It is the ‘new normal’ that only Jesus can bring.
So, will you turn to Christ this Christmas and find real light and hope in his promise of a restored relationship with God and eternal life in a new creation?
Wishing you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Get articles delivered straight to your inbox. Sign up for our mailing list here.
Follow us on:
Originally from Australia, Tim Nicholls came to know Christ as a child, before maturing in his faith during his university years. Tim now lives in Malaysia and serves as a Pastor at St George’s Anglican Church in Georgetown, Penang. Tim is married to Siew Mun and they have three children. Tim loves Malaysian food, the hot tropical weather, and is learning to speak BM and Mandarin! But most of all he loves Jesus, and is passionate about seeing people from all nations and all stages of life come to know Christ as their Lord and Saviour and joyfully live for his glory.
As an apologist, questions of pain and suffering are among the toughest I have attempted to address. It is one thing to respond to an atheist making an argument like the one commonly attributed to the Greek philosopher, Epicurus: "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing?...