I thought someone said Christmas was cancelled this year? Well, I hope you have all managed to have a little festive joy in this very different Christmas. I know some are coping with loved ones very unwell, or alone and a long way away. As if Covid isn’t enough many are battling flooding and, in some places, blizzards and snowdrifts. Depending where you live in the world some are just waking up to Christmas, others are nearly ready for bed.
Here in the UK many of you are sleeping off a Christmas feast in front of the telly or your computer. Last night instead of attending Midnight mass in church as usual I watched the service virtually on line from a church in London where my Godson was playing the Organ. The theme of the service was Emanuel. For Christians this word has special significance; it means God is with us. God is with us today on this special birthday, whoever and wherever we are.
Towards the end of the service the Carol, ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentleman’, was sung with its well know refrain ‘Comfort and Joy’. What ever our circumstances today we can claim that Comfort for ourselves and for others known to us that need that Comfort tonight and in the coming days. As the restrictions become tighter later tonight we must prepare and surround ourselves with the certainty that if we stick to the rules by staying safe and staying apart, we will see the victory. Covid will eventually become history. In the last two days over 60,000 people have tested positive and 1,100 people have lost their lives.
Perhaps well over 100k of us have has our lives directly impacted by this news, surely this is sufficient to make us all very aware of what we need to do. Our Hospitals are reaching crisis point there are few beds left, ITUs and mortuaries are full. Many staff have Covid and other are self-isolating. Joy is the other component of that refrain Comfort and Joy. Despite all the hardships we face, there can be joy in our hearts for the future. Most of you will have listened to the Queen’s Christmas address today. She is another example of inspiration and commitment to the service of others.
Another Challenge heading our way is storm Bella, due to hit the UK tomorrow. There are a lot of flood warnings for tomorrow, and some have already had many people flooded out. I strongly urge you to give the Christmas sales a miss tomorrow, if you can find a shop open! Please make sure you have your vaccine when its offered to you, there are only a very few of us who should not have it . This is the quickest way to get life back to some normality.
Take Comfort, Share Joy and Stay Safe.