A group of leaders was discussing what the theme for Christmas 2020 should be. The best answer I heard was, “A Weary World Rejoices.”
Weariness seems to have spread as far as the pandemic in 2020. We have been worn down by uncertainty, anxiety, conflict and making the same decision again and again as circumstances unpredictably change. Some of us have battled to keep healthy, to keep providing for our families or just to keep sane.
The phrase of the theme above comes from a well-known Christmas Carol called “O, Holy Night”. The opening verse reads:
O Holy night! The stars are brightly shining It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth Long lay the world in sin and error pining 'Til He appears and the soul felt its worth A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn Fall on your knees; O hear the Angel voices! O night divine, O night when Christ was born O night, O Holy night, O night divine!
In 2020, the world has lain under the threat of COVID. Many a weary heart has been thrilled by news of a vaccine being rolled out.
This carol speaks of a greater weariness – the deadly weight of the consequences of “sin and error”. COVID was not the beginning, nor the end, of our weariness. We always struggle to overcome our mistakes and our mistaken ideas. We are like ants climbing over each other to get to the top of the pile.
This carol also speaks of a greater hope – the thrill of hope now that a Saviour has arrived. Christmas remembers Jesus' descent to the bottom of the pile, where he could meet us. He has overcome our “sin and error” and, if we trust him, he will bring us into the new day.
Let us rejoice.