THE SHEPHERD’S CORNER
Every year we celebrate many holidays but there is nothing like Christmas; and I am saying this not as a Christian but as an observer. You see, other holidays do evoke certain emotions; for instance, Memorial Day will make us think of the fallen heroes and Veteran’s Day will make us appreciate those who have served in the Armed Services. Christmas is different; it evokes a feeling of joy. And what makes it especially different is that this joy lasts for a long time and is shared by both Christians and non-Christians alike.
I still remember the time I worked in a psychiatric hospital. Every time we entered the month of December, I noticed the mood of the hospital’s population was different—uplifted and positive. No Christmas songs yet and of course no Christmas services but still somehow joy was in the air. So, it is true, then, when we sing, “Joy to the world, the Lord has come,” we are stating the fact. The birth of Jesus has brought joy to the world, and not only to Christians. And this joy is independent of the festivities surrounding Christmas, such as shopping and giving, decorations, songs, and even services.
Beginning from this Sunday we temporarily halt our recorded services at church. The confirmed cases of Covid-19 in LA are just too alarming; on Thursday there were over 22,000 cases and on Friday, over 16,000 cases while up to a month ago there were only over 1,000 cases per day. On top of it all several members of our worship team have tested positive for Covid-19. I knew we had looked forward to recording our Christmas services but having been hit close to home, we thought it would be best that we postpone it. Having witnessed the power of the birth of Jesus that has brought joy to the world, I am not worried that we will suffer any loss for not having Christmas services. After all, the joy is already in the air.