A COVID-19 Christmas: Seeing the incarnation in a new light
Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God as something to be exploited, but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness (Phil 2:5-7).
As we draw near to the end of 2020, we come to one more event that COVID-19 will disrupt, namely, Christmas. In the past year, COVID-19 has interrupted concerts, holidays, birthdays, vacations, church, work, school, weddings, and so much more.
This year, COVID-19 has caused me to see Christmas in a new light. Even though Jesus was not born during a pandemic, his incarnation occurred during an unkind moment in human history. Jesus was born in a nation occupied by a foreign power. It was a world where King Herold could slaughter children without any opposition. The amazing truth of the incarnation is that Jesus was unafraid to enter a difficult world. Jesus, who had all the protections of eternity, laid them aside to be born among us in order to save us.
As the hymn beautiful states:
Hail the heav’n-born Prince of Peace!
Hail the Son of Righteousness!
Light and life to all He brings, Ris’n with healing in His wings.
Mild He lays His glory by,
Born that man no more may die,
Born to raise the sons of earth,
Born to give them second birth.
Hark! The herald angels sing,
“Glory to the newborn King!”
The good news of the incarnation is that Jesus is unafraid to enter the hard places of our lives. We can rest assured that, despite appearances to the contrary, Jesus is at working even now through this disruption to bring life to those who are afflicted, who mourn, the brokenhearted, the imprisoned, and the devastated.
COVID-19 has altered our world. But thanks be to God for sending Jesus to save us. So, let us join the angel choir and sing, “Glory to the newborn King!”