December 25, 2020 | Clarence Nywening
The first Christmas was not a pretty picture. The political scene was a mess. Herod, the local ruler was known more for his tendency to behead people than any levity he might have shown to the public. A census was taken, not to improve local prosperity, but to increase tax revenue. And, to top it all off, the air was thick with conspiracies, scheming and treachery. Times were bad.
This year has sometimes felt like that first Christmas, but not the cozy version where Mary and Joseph are in a nice warm stable surrounded by a host of angels, shepherds and magi. Rather, it feels like the part of the Christmas story where the holy family is running for their lives from a murderous king.
Though our lives may not be in danger, many of the things we have felt secure in over the years seem to be unraveling. Businesses are shut down, family gatherings are restricted, and social media buzzes with one conspiracy theory after another. Yet despite the dark outlook, that first Christmas and this Christmas also, there are tidings of comfort and joy.
Working with our government has been a unique task this year. Though our priority has always been to encourage laws that are beneficial to the longevity of the agricultural community, this year there was a definite focus on just keeping things going. As laws and bylaws changed faster than the clock hands, it has often seemed like there was little we could do. This is where the Christmas story gives us much comfort.
The story of the trip to Bethlehem teaches us that God is in control no matter how out of control the world may seem. A simple census intended to increase taxes caused the Saviour to be born in Bethlehem as prophesied hundreds of years earlier. Murderous Herod unwittingly sent the Saviour into exile in Egypt. This too was prophesied.
Though we have no prophecies about COVID-19, we can be assured that the God who orchestrated the birth of the Saviour on Christmas Day also holds our future in his hand. This truly is a tiding of comfort and joy.
From everyone at CFFO, wishing you a very merry Christmas.
Clarence Nywening is Interim General Manager for the Christian Farmers Federation of Ontario. The CFFO Commentary represents the opinions of the writer and does not necessarily represent CFFO policy. The CFFO Commentary is heard weekly on CFCO Chatham, CKXS Chatham, CKNX Wingham, and CHLP Listowel.