COVID-19 has been like a house guest who overextends a visit. At this point, we strongly state that this meanness needs to leave planet Earth. Hit the road. Don’t even think about coming back.

holy family window art

As you know, the pandemic has been hard on churches and their congregations. For an assortment of reasons, some members haven’t come back to church, and a few determined returning to church isn’t in their future. Natural born worrier that I am, I worry about those disconnections.

For a long, long time, something out there, something inside of us, keeps us connected to Advent to Christmas.

I wonder what brings us back?

 Are we drawn to the traditions of the season, or are we pulled to the hope found in the birth of Jesus?

In truth, at times, I struggle with the predictability of the season.

 I wonder how Advent and Christmas might acquire a new freshness or vitality?

Perhaps, avoiding the predictable comes down to this—how are the eyes in my heart seeing the world?

If I over-focus on the negative, then I miss out on the good generated by people.

Somewhere in that good, there is a trust, a hope, that the world will reclaim its goodness.

Perhaps, that is what grounded Mary in her circumstances—trust and hope.

As you come into the season, maybe these devotionals will restore your hearts with trust and hope for Christmas and beyond.

Bill Pike