How does a weary world rejoice?
I know people who are weary. I think of the one caring for elderly family members in their own small home. I think of the one going through chemo. I think of the one who has a family member dying of cancer. I think of the one who lost their job earlier this year. They’ve moved on, but change is difficult. I think of the one who was unemployed for a few months and is afraid it might happen again.
I know people who are fearful to be with others. I think of the one who recovered from COVID. I think of families who have lost loved ones to the virus. I think of the frontline workers surrounded by this virus every single day. They’re weary. When will life be normal again?
I see the news. As disturbing and twisted as it is. Who do we believe? We hear elected officials giving orders to do one thing, yet they do the thing they say we shouldn’t. Who can we trust? Both presidential candidates say they won the election. We hear of voter fraud. Will we ever know the truth? We’re weary of all the back and forth of pointing fingers and placing blame.
Some believe that the police should be defunded. Others are holding tight to that blue line. Some fear for safety. Others want revenge. They’re weary of not being heard. They’re weary of being fearful in their own neighborhoods.
Where is our hope? How can we feel joyful at a time like this?
I must say. This year has been much easier on me than it has on most others. The only change I saw was my commute to work. I’m now working from home indefinitely. But I am weary for the ones who are weary. I am weary of the world’s lament. I am weary from the loss of joy in what is a good life. I am weary thinking of an uncertain future.
Trust in the Lord always, for the Lord God is the eternal Rock. Isaiah 26:4
But then I remember the reason for the season. The weary world has a reason to rejoice.
I think of Mary, the unwed pregnant girl. She was given news that would make most women joyful. But in her day, that was unwelcome news. I’ve never been with a man. She told the angel standing before her. How can it be? But behold. The God who created the universe planted the seed who became the physical Son of God. The young Mary was to give birth to this God child.
Imagine Joseph. When he heard the news of his betrothed’s pregnancy, he didn’t take it well. He knew the child wasn’t his. How could he trust her? He would have to set aside the dream of marrying this girl bride. He was weary thinking of how to tell his family and friends. The village was small. News would travel. Fast. How could he put her away quietly?
But the angel in his dream shared God’s truth that this child was the Son of God. And Joseph chose to believe. He chose to believe. Oh. He would marry Mary and raise the child as his own. But he knew the truth and believed the angel’s message.
Oh. It was a huge belief. The people had waited for so long for the promised Messiah. And now he would be born in the worst of times. There was a census. Joseph took Mary to Bethlehem to be counted. Mary, huge with child, rode a long bumpy ride. Knowing she carried the Son of God, she endured. She was weary. They were weary when they arrived in Bethlehem. No room. They were told. Hugely pregnant and no room for comfort. Instead, they found space with the animals. And in the lowliest of places, the Son of God was born.
It was a starry night. The shepherds in the field saw the star and knew something amazing had occurred. The angel shared the message. Find the babe in the manager. And they did. The shepherds weary from a long day’s work found the baby just as they were told. And yet. They rejoiced. They knew they were in the presence of God wrapped in newborn skin. They worshipped.
So we can rejoice among our weariness. We can choose to believe the truth of God’s love and His gift of salvation. We can set aside the lies the world tells us. The lies that cause our hearts to be weary. We can rejoice. We can choose joy. We can worship the King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Oh. Come let us adore Him. Christ the Lord.