Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and it is hard to believe that the end of a bizarre year is here. My initial response is to through my hands up in the air and shout, “Hallelujah! Good riddance to 2020!” When I think of the year in general, I stop myself and think about the blessings that came my way, despite the obstacles of a pandemic, quarantine, and moving to a new church.
There is no doubt that the year continues to present the world with challenges not seen for over one-hundred-years. Many families were affected by a virus that crossed all imagined boundaries and left many in grief. Such loss is unimaginable, and many prayers go out to those who face a new normal this season. I hope that through tears and sadness, everyone may find a sliver of hope, even in the bleakest of circumstances.
Hope comes to us in many ways. There are times that the message of faith overwhelms me, and light surrounds me. To ignore such a vivid radiance of the presence of the Divine is to deny reality. The thick, vibrant, intoxicating joy of the Holy Spirit permeates any gloom. We stand and bathe in joy all around us.
But sometimes, in the darkest nights of the soul, hope comes to us in a tiny sliver of light. Its radiance is buried so deep in despair that it barely makes itself known. We happen upon the speck of hope piercing the dark, and if we hold on to the brilliance of joy, the light grows brighter until there is nothing left but a holy presence. Hope casts out despair and promises new beginnings, a new appreciation for each God-given moment.
I cling to the faithfulness of the Divine force in the world that, while we struggle, refuses to leave us without a sliver of joy. Maybe this year is about reclaiming the presence of the Almighty, even in the worst of circumstances. Covid-19 may continue to rage against us, but we know the source of our strength. In the end, the virus will go away, but God’s love endures forever. Let us hold fast to the promise of our Creator, “I’m convinced that nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers or height or depth, or any other thing that is created” (Rom. 8:38-39). May you find comfort and hope, even in the darkness of Covid-19.