Star of Hope
My town’s water tower is visible outside my living room window. This morning, when I opened my blinds, I found a surprise. The star that sits atop that tower was lit. The star is always bright during the Christmas season, but we are soon celebrating Easter. The Christmas star has never been lit at Easter.
Today we’re in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. Most people are sequestered in their homes, coming out only to shop for essentials: food and medicine. The “shelter-in-place” order allows us to walk in our neighborhoods, but not in groups of three or more, and not closer than six feet, observing “social distancing”. All this has been done in order to stop the spread of a sometimes-deadly virus. People seem to be a bit paranoid and depressed. I see it in some of my friends when I talk to them on the phone or receive their texts. On social media, I try to post humorous stories, but sadness seems to permeate everything.
But not the star. Christmas is a time of hope, joy and peace. Now, more than ever, we especially need hope.
God knew this would happen and how people would react. He said that it was not good for man to be alone. Social isolation is not easy to tolerate.
Yet we are not alone. God is walking with us through this difficult time. Hope tells us that God has a good plan in all of this. Families seem to have grown closer. People are creatively finding new ways to fill their needs and the needs of others. Our old life and schedule has been stripped away, so we can see what’s truly important. And hope reminds us that someday we’ll live in the best place, where there is no disease, death, or sadness, only joy, peace and love, the intensity of which we cannot imagine.
Thanks to an unknown town employee, the Christmas star reminded me of the need to reach for hope.
“’For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.’” Jeremiah 29:11