Every one I know has had to celebrate Christmas this year in a modified manner. People didn’t travel. Families didn’t get together. Fewer presents were passed around. (One young man told me, “This year my family decided we could only afford to draw each other pictures and write each other poems.”)
That’s how it was in 2020.
I’m sure we’ve all taken a ‘count your blessings‘ approach to the season, making the best of it, being thankful for what we have, rather than focusing on what’s been left out.
This is a good idea, of course, but I would also suggest that we resolve in the coming year to adopt a new attitude: Never Again.
Never Again will I take for granted the things that were missed or the things that were lost this year.
• This year I know people who are unemployed. Others have lost their business. They will never again take a job for granted, and will likely never again complain about having to work for a paycheck, even when the conditions are less than perfect.
• This year I know some who are without a home. Never again will they take for granted having four walls to call their own.
• This year I know some who are spending this Christmas by themselves, without their kids and grandkids, for the first time in decades. They will never again take for granted a family get together.
We have all survived — maybe even taken in stride — the many required adjustments this season. That’s what most people do, especially those whose lives are built on a foundation of faith.
But it’s OK to feel the absence of that which has been lost this year.
And now is a good time to decide: Never again will I overlook even the smallest of God’s many blessings in my life. When God restores what was lacking this year, as he most certainly will, I will take notice, I will give him thanks, and I will treasure the gift of his goodness.
Cry out, “Save us, God our Savior; gather us and deliver us from the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name, and glory in your praise.” (1 Chronicles 16:35)