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A Weary World Rejoices

December 22, 2020

Weary may be the perfect word to describe the way we all feel at the end of 2020.

For some of us, it’s been months since we’ve seen people we love. Headlines are hitting closer to home as COVID numbers spike. We’re more worried every day about the people in our lives who are most at risk. Parents wait to hear if their kids’ school will be in person or virtual after the break. Some of us are wondering if church life will ever feel normal again. Others are tired of hearing about the election and the Senate run-offs in January (especially where I live in Georgia). And others are dreading logging onto yet another virtual team meeting this week.

2020 has worn all of us down in one way or another. We’re longing for normal, but “normal” isn’t the best anecdote for our weariness. The thing our weary souls most need is hope.

It is amazing what happens when human beings experience hope. It is a thrill when it happens today, and it was a thrill when it happened more than 2,000 years ago. After 400 years of silence, God finally spoke to his weary people through the cry of a little baby named Jesus.

In a field nearby that little manger, shepherds tended their sheep. Crooks in hand, they watched over their flocks late into the night. Suddenly, the black night sky burst with a brilliant light, and they fell to their knees in fear. But the comforting voice of an angel rang through the air:

“Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy…”


The shepherds’ own weariness melted into celebration at this miraculous news. The hope of a Savior lay in a manger nearby, and they were going to see him!

I love the way this song captures it:

O Holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of our dear Savior’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Til He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

There are many things for which to be hopeful, but perhaps the greatest is a baby born in the town of Bethlehem more than 2,000 years ago.

As we approach the end of 2020, let the thrill of hope, found in the reason we celebrate Christmas, ease your weariness. May He be every bit as exciting and comforting to you today as He was to the shepherds when He was born.


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