The marketing team at Myer have really gone all out this year – Make this year BIGGER than Christmas. Each massive billboard is accompanied by a mashup of celebrations that we have missed this year – Jingle Wedding Bells. Happy Congratulations and Christmas. Retailers realise that we long to make up for the lost time and connections. We’ve all stayed home for most of the year, might as well go big at Christmas! And you can have all this by buying more than you would normally at Christmas time. Cheeky.
Mainstreet Insights, an Australian research company, surveyed 580 Australian workers about how Covid-19 has affected their wellbeing, and in particular, their spiritual well being.
42% have experienced tension in their most significant relationships.
Almost three in five Australians have experienced an increase in a feeling lonely because of the pandemic with participants in Victoria feeling it the deepest at a reported 67%.
47% of participants have spent more time thinking about their own mortality and the meaning of life.
Three in ten Australians have spent more time thinking about God.
Although retailers are suggesting that Christmas should be filled with more tinsel and gifts this year, these survey results suggest that we’re not after a bigger Christmas, but a more meaningful one. Imagine this: what if Christmas became a reminder of life-changing hope?
A hope that can give us peace as restrictions change our plans for the holidays. A hope that can sustain us as we keep in touch with friends and family who live overseas. A hope that will anchor us amidst unemployment and uncertainty about the future. A hope that helps us to hold both joy and grief in our hearts. The Bible boldly offers this hope in the person of Jesus.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.…And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory, the glory as of a father’s only Son, full of grace and truth. – John 1:1-5, 14.
- What is Christmas going to look like for you this year?
- What are you looking forward to?
- What do you wish were different about Christmas this year?
- What do you like about the story of Jesus?
- How might your life change if you believed in Jesus?