As we prepare to celebrate Christmas, many of us will pause to reflect on this past year. It has been a difficult one for sure, at times excruciating; perhaps the most difficult year many of us have ever experienced. And, perhaps one of our most fervent wishes is that 2021 be nothing like it.
There remains a heaviness across the nation; a sense that tensions in an already sharply divided country have only been exacerbated by a pandemic that has forced major changes in every aspect of our lives as well as enormous economic dislocation, civil unrest, multiple hurricanes, and a national election that many view as illegitimate. Let’s face it, this has been a miserable year, and many of us are, well, miserable. That knowledge can make for a tough Christmas for many of us, and we should be mindful and look in on our friends, family and neighbors.
However, on the bright side is the indisputable fact that Americans are, and America is, strong and resilient. We are intrinsically hopeful and reflexively optimistic and much of that belief flows from our faith in God. The rest of it stems from the fact that we realize we are blessed to live in the greatest country in the world—and that tomorrow will be better because there is no better place than America to make it so.
I don’t know what will be necessary of us to begin to heal our country, but I am certain that it is going to require a power much greater than our own. I hope for a time we can all slow our hectic paces and reflect on the most profound birth, and gift, the world has ever known. From there may we, relying on what Lincoln referred to as the “better angels” of our nature, prayerfully and hopefully find a way to begin again.