“‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.” –Isaiah 55:8 (NIV)
“Unprecedented” is the most popular word used to describe 2020. One of our colleagues said, “There is nothing normal about 2020.” And here we are on Christmas Day in the most unprecedented year of our lives with the advent of COVID-19 in March of this year.
Since COVID-19 arrived, nothing has been normal for us. If you happen to gather with anyone outside your nuclear family, you will most likely have to make plans to observe this family time with great precaution. Some of you will have decided not to meet with extended family in order to protect them and your family. Christmas 2020 will probably be an unprecedented celebration.
The first Christmas was also unprecedented
But so was the first Christmas. It was unprecedented. No other child in human history was born to a virgin woman (Matthew 1:18-25). No other child in human history received gifts from three astrologer wisemen guided by a star to his birthplace. Angels appeared to shepherds on the outskirts of Bethlehem and guided them to Jesus. A crowd of angels appeared in the sky praising and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”
And few children born at Christmas survived their birth by fleeing to Egypt due to the threat of mass infanticide ordered by King Herod. This first Christmas was anything but normal. It was unprecedented and abnormal by all other human perspectives.
The Prince of Peace still draws toward his purpose
When you reflect during Christmas 2020 and everything seems different, odd, unusual and unprecedented, know you are in good company with Jesus, the Savior, and his family. Nothing about 2020 surprised the Lord of redemptive history. I take comfort this unprecedented Christmas Day that the Prince of Peace continues to draw human history toward his purposes, even if it seems unprecedented to me.
Written by Albert Reyes, president and CEO of Buckner International for the 2020 Buckner Advent Guide. He and his wife, Belinda, have three adult sons.