By Ralphine Major

Years ago, on the Sunday before Christmas, our small, rural church would hand out white paper bags filled with apples, oranges, and old-fashioned chocolate drop candies. It was a fun and festive moment in the congregation before the upcoming Christmas Day.

In many ways, life has not changed that much during the 2020 Christmas season. A familiar scene outside our home this week revealed a line of wild turkeys walking down a hill near our house. December 21 is still the shortest day of the year, and some communities are still having Christmas parades. In other ways, life has changed dramatically due to the pandemic. Knox County Schools decided to go all virtual learning. On my very few trips out, I see more people wearing masks. Many families are battling this deadly virus or have lost loved ones to its clutches.

Christmas brings hope. The Christmas message is beautifully displayed in a nativity at Shannondale Presbyterian Church on Tazewell Pike in North Knox County. “My mother, Virginia Babelay, designed and cut that nativity scene from plywood about 60 years ago (the last time I remember it being used),” Sarah Weber shared. What a gift to passers-by and a wonderful reminder of Christmas—the birth of Jesus. Have a Merry and Blessed Christmas!

Words of Faith: “For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour which is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:11 (KJV)