In the Light, the Scourge of 2020 Recedes


In the Light, the Scourge of 2020 Rescinds

In this worst year ever — at least in our lifetimes — we are straining to look beyond our holiday blues, to see past this pandemic and the record deaths (300,000) in America, to see a time when we will meet and freely embrace again. The new year shall come.

“We have heroes to be grateful for today,” wrote Mayor Muriel Bowser on social media, with a shout-out to health care workers, volunteers, firefighters, police officers, first responders, teachers, government workers, business owners, neighbors and friends. D.C.’s mayor followed a cautious but moderate path of imposing and adjusting restrictions to lessen the pandemic’s impact.

Our neighbor, the Rev. Timothy Cole, is “grateful to be here.” Rector of Christ Church, Georgetown, Cole was the first D.C. resident known to have contracted the virus. We are thankful for his inspiration, presence and faith in God and in all of us.

Be not afraid. Let not your heart be troubled. We worry about our families. We worry about those who have lost their jobs. We worry about businesses that will fail and never return. We fret about politics — local, national and international — and ask what will 2021 bring, even as we put up holiday decorations.

The season to appreciate all the goodness around us — the timeless miracles of Christmas and Hanukkah, the wonder of the solstice and the hope of Kwanzaa — is here. Still, we need to wear masks, socially distance and follow the mayor’s guidelines. They work. Another Advent is also here: the vaccine is arriving.

Above all, let the truth of science shine as the planets Jupiter and Saturn, named for Roman gods, align, revealing themselves as the Star of Bethlehem. It’s a sign, to be sure — but it’s not magic, it’s physics.

Let science and justice come to the forefront. Let us rejoice in our lives, while we acknowledge the human suffering of this year. Let us begin anew.

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