Christmas 2020: A Socially Distant Christmas

As we celebrate the birth of Christ on Christmas, many are still coming to terms with the fact that Christmas this year looks a little different from the past. We are missing the presents, jingles, and celebrations that we have been accustomed to year after year. However, the real Christmas happens in our hearts, where Christ lives in each and every one of us. We may have to do away with the festivities and extravaganzas this year, but the true spirit of Christmas fills us ever more blazingly – the spirit of love and giving.

John 3:16
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The greatest gift that mankind has received from God is none other than love. Because of that love, God sent the Messiah whom mankind had waited for for thousands of years in order to grant us salvation. Without this greatest gift, we would not have been resurrected from death to life. Therefore, there is no better time than this to reciprocate the gift of love that we have received through Christ, who was sent by God to the world. In this season of giving, more than decorative gifts and fancy treats, the true joy of Christmas lies in giving love to those around us.

Our Christmas concert this year, titled A Socially Distant Christmas, sought to give love and hope to all those who were struggling with difficulties in these turbulent times.

The concert began with a dance medley put up by dancers present physically on stage and virtually through videos. The dancers sought to portray the rollercoaster of emotions experienced by many during the COVID-19 season, from loss to emptiness, and from despair to hope. Just as the night is darkest before the dawn, and spring never fails to come after every winter, the dancers’ choreography showed us that at the end of difficult times, there is always vibrant hope.

This dance was succeeded by a short film presentation depicting a lady, Pamela, reaching out to her reclusive colleague, Lydia, who had been working from home since the pandemic started. Lydia had been isolated for months, suffering from negativity and loneliness, and was in desperate need of love, although she herself was oblivious to it. Pamela’s helping hand came at the opportune time, as she reached out to Lydia and presented her with the intangible gift of love through the act of being present and showing concern. The film ended with Lydia opening the gift, laughing and smiling together with Pamela. The film reflected the reality of many of our lives. Several guests found the film moving and related to the characters, with some being in the position of Pamela, and others being in the position of Lydia. Whatever the case, the film was a reminder to reach out to those around us who need help, and to be that source of hope and encouragement for them. The film was also a source of hope for its viewers, letting them know that there are people who care for them.

The concert was really moving, and I could really see the struggles of the characters through the dance. The film also allowed me to ponder more deeply about how we should always appreciate the love of those around us, and also be the one to treat the people around us sincerely. I hope that everyone will continue to give thanks to the Lord for every small little blessing in their lives and to live in joy together with God everyday.” – Amy, 18.

A snapshot of 'A Socially Distant Christmas' Short Film

Lydia (left) played by Madel Ocampo and Pamela (right) played by Charis Lim

As the program came to a close, our pastor gave a sharing about God’s boundless and unconditional love for each of us, and how true joy lies not in receiving love, but in giving love.

Finally, as part of the 2020 Christmas program, Great Glory Church liaised with Care Corner Singapore to prepare 200 gift packs for the children at Care Corner. These children come from extraordinary backgrounds, with some growing up in underprivileged families or divorced families. Desiring to share God’s love and warmth with these children in the season of Christmas, Great Glory Church engaged church members and volunteers to come together to wrap presents for the children at Care Corner. Amongst the volunteers were many children from church, wrapping presents for other children whom they knew were less fortunate than themselves. After a long and arduous process of packing, the gifts were finally ready. They were then transported to Care Corner, as bundles of love and happiness for the children. We hope that the bundles will light up their day and give them love and hope in this socially distant Christmas.

Two volunteers packing Christmas goodie bags
Two volunteers packing Christmas goodie bags
Never too young to spread some love!

Great Glory Church wishes to express our thanks to everyone for joining us in celebrating this incredible gift of love from God. We wish all a blessed Christmas and a joyful and safe 2021 ahead!