A precious gift

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Christmas, faith, promise birth of new possibilities 

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  • Kurt Johnson
    Kurt Johnson
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There is a special feeling in the air this week as we pause to celebrate a most precious time of the year -- Christmas.
This year, perhaps more than any that I can recall in my lifetime, Christians have leaned on their faith to help find the strength and perspective to handle challenges of the day. There have been many in a pandemic-plagued 2020, a year that can’t end soon enough.
Our hearts are typically full for the holiday season as we pause and reflect during a most sacred time of the year, though Christmas will look and feel much different in 2020. So many of the traditions we hold dear are on pause, at least for now. 
Gathering with our families, for example, usually a foundation for all things Christmas, is in and of itself in jeopardy. No one wants to create unnecessary exposures that might put Grandma or other loved ones at risk, and yet the thought of celebrating without them is heartbreaking. 
I haven’t seen my mother in person for over a year now, nor has she seen many of her grandkids. She has yet to hold one great-grandchild who is nearly a year old. And so, we’ll make those tough decisions on who we can be with and who we can’t, together, knowing full well we are all there in spirit. I’ve had enough Zoom meetings to last a lifetime, but I look forward to our family Christmas Zoom, knowing it will be our one opportunity to laugh and share and engage all at the same time.
One thing that will not change this Christmas is our focus on the greatest gift of all, the birth of the Christ child. As people of faith, we celebrate that Biblical scene in a manger as the birth of new possibility. As always, we celebrate that gift of life and hope with a heartfelt prayer, though, perhaps, the eyes and hands will be clinched just a little bit tighter this year.
Our prayer is that the vaccine now finding its way across the country will bring us health, and peace, and goodwill toward men. The timeless message is that Christmas brings good news of great joy for all people. What a precious gift of perspective, especially in 2020.
Merry Christmas, one and all!
Kurt Johnson

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