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Dear NAD Family,
I want to extend to you, on behalf of my fellow officers and the entire NAD office family, our warmest holiday greetings as this year 2020 comes to an end. And what a year it has been! Who could have guessed when we started 2020 we would end it in this manner?
We want to thank our pastors and educators for the tremendous work that they have done in transitioning to virtual environments. And what a feat that was: to turn on almost a dime, and go from in-person services to online services! We owe a debt of gratitude to all of our media teams who have worked untiringly. Without their efforts, this transition would not have been possible. We also want to thank our members who have been involved in over 1,500 food pantries providing food for those in need, and the many outreach activities that have happened in the virtual space.
The coronavirus pandemic, the economic downturn, racial unrest, and now political turmoil have converged to create a very unstable and stress-filled world. Any one of them alone could be catastrophic, and destabilizing. But when you put the four together, that can make quite an impact. This is what we have been through this year. However, these events in 2020 makes this time of the year even more special. As we reflect on the Gift of God, of His Son the Christ Child, it is even more meaningful.
As we think about the world He came into — it was not unlike our world today. Humankind had been ravaged with a virus of sin with no vaccine and no cure. The political climate with the Roman government was at an all-time low. Racial tensions between the Jews and Samaritans were at an all-time high. The economic gap between the haves and the have nots had reached its breaking point. The spiritual heart of man was at a low. It was into this environment that God sent His Son as a Babe into a hostile world. God is not unfamiliar with what we’re going through. He has been here before, and He does His best work in these kinds of environments. God gives His best to us—in the worst of times.
This season, Christmas reminds me of a God that gives us His best when we are facing our worst crisis. Jesus was the best, the most expensive, the most valuable, the most treasured Gift that God had in the entire universe. So God said, Let me give my Son to demonstrate my love for you. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son” [John 3:16]. He actually gave Him to the human race, not just to come and die, but He gave them to us forever! Christ is to forever retain His humanity. He gave this Gift when we were at our worst. Even if we were at our best, the cost is inestimable, but we were at our worst!
The good news in 2020, amidst the pandemic, the economic challenges, the racial unrest, the political strife, is that the Gift is still ours. So I invite us for this moment, for this season, to take our minds off of all the turmoil of life in this world and take some time to meditate on this glorious Gift and to reflect on this precious Gift that we have in God’s only begotten Son. So come, let us adore Him. O, come, let us adore Him. Come, let us adore Him, Jesus Christ our Lord! This is not only the “Reason for the Season,” but it is the good news of 2020. God bless you!
— This is a transcript of the 2020 year-end holiday greeting from G. Alexander Bryant, president of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in North America
–Originally published on the NAD website