I am reminded daily of this Bible verse, as I read the news in the morning, Romans 12:15:
“Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”
As Christmas draws near, in the midst of the pandemic, I am reminded that not everyone will feel joyful this Christmas season. It is easy to walk alongside someone when they celebrate Christmas in the spirit of joy, and rejoice with them, as Christ would have us all do.
However, some may struggle to find joy this Christmas. For some, this Christmas will be the first without their loved one, the first without knowing whether their next paycheck will be enough, the first without family around the table to share a meal or an embrace, the first where they will risk their health going to work after the turkey is served, the first where an eve surrounded by peace will be replaced by a night consumed with fear or anxiety, the first where they will consume their Christmas meal in the presence of care home staff instead of loved ones that care, the first where they will wake Christmas morning still on a ventilator to breathe, the first to have to dry the eyes of their children, again, who are told “Not yet” when they so long to touch their grandma or grandpa, the first for those who have chosen to put the love of themselves aside for the love of 30 young minds and hearts in need of their lessons…and not just the ones about math, the first having to check their electronic device, before they open presents, not for their own interest but for the interest and safety of the thousands of people clinging to their guidance even on this day, or first for those whose only family to spend Christmas with would have been found within the walls of their church.
For these, and many more, we need to remember to mourn with them. This Christmas is a first for them.
This is the time, as a Christian, that I need to be an example of our Lord Jesus Christ and show genuine sympathy and kindness. Sometimes, that may just mean sitting quietly in the same room as someone (i.e., or connected virtually), in prayer for them or with them, so they see evidence that they are not alone in their suffering. Christ never meant anyone to be.