Bridge Over Troubled Times

The light show on Venice’s famous Rialto Bridge. (Photo: AFP)

The Rialto Bridge is one of the most famous and beautiful bridges in the world. Made of marble, it is one of only four bridges across Venice’s Grand Canal. This Christmas it has become a backdrop for a spectacular light show illustrating the most significant events in the history of Venice. With tourists staying away for obvious reasons, the light show and other art installations will continue until New Year’s Eve to carry Venice’s own residents through the darkest time of the year.

Sadly for many families, there will be an empty place(s) at the table this Christmas. For others, this will be a more frugal Christmas than normal, but whatever our situation we can make this a time to give ourselves a break, step away from the setbacks of 2020, enjoy the moment and rest. Let this Christmas be a bridge into 2021, when we move slowly forward towards a post-Covid future one step at a time.

There really is hope for the future. Every Christmas, we celebrate Jesus, the Son of God, leaving Heaven, taking on human form and being born as a baby in Bethlehem. In His later life, Jesus described Himself as the Bread of Life, the Good Shepherd, the Light of the World, the Way, the Truth and the Life, and even the Bright Morning Star. As you get to know him, you find He is all of these and more, including the bridge between us and God the Father.

Imagine standing on one side of a canyon, with God on the other. Some people may try to build bridges of good behaviour, charity or religious tradition to get across, but they all fall short. There is no way we can get closer to God on our own terms. But because God loves us so much, He Himself provided a bridge. Jesus came at Christmas to become our bridge at Easter, when He paid the price for our failures and wrong behaviour, and in so doing opened the way to God for all those who are honest enough to admit they need His help. This Christmas our Creator is offering to all who will receive Him, His love, forgiveness, acceptance and eternal life; gifts you can’t buy online. Why not find a quiet moment this holiday to thank God for sending Jesus, and cross that bridge?

MAY YOU HAVE A VERY HAPPY CHRISTMAS, AND MAY YOU FIND PEACE, GOOD HEALTH AND A BRIGHTER FUTURE IN 2021!

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