Advent 2020 #21: Not so Merry Christmas

It’s been a sad weekend.

As a result of Sydney’s outbreak my brother literally made a last minute decision to not come to Sydney on Saturday morning. Then those of us in Sydney planned to head to Melbourne instead, but it was all too late.

After what this year has already heaped on us, we couldn’t move any faster than we did. Now the NSW – Victoria border is shut, as of midnight last night. Who can blame them. They don’t want a repeat of earlier this year.

Which is why it was going to be such a wonderful reunion with those down south in the family, who I haven’t seen face to face since the end of January, when I visited them to go to the Australian Open.

Plans to see nieces and nephews, grandchildren, brothers, sisters, in-laws, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents… ruined. It’s not just my family who have had this happen to them across the weekend just gone. Thousands have.

To avoid this same fate (my brother told me) 90, 000 Sydney siders applied for permits to enter Victoria in recent days.

Family is important. If nothing else, that statistic tells you that.

What are people’s priorities in life? Family.

And at Christmas time, we want to be with them (and don’t I know, when I’m not!)

And plenty of people just couldn’t get there fast enough. Or have enough money to get there. Another little nugget of information from my brother was that a flight from Sydney to Melbourne in recent days cost $1500!! Crazy.

But understandable.

The escape to Melbourne: all these people fleeing the city to head south. It actually kept reminding me of “The escape to Egypt” which is part of the very first Christmas.

I blogged about Rachel earlier this month and never thought I’d have cause to go back and look at this element of the account only a short time later.

But Joseph is told in a dream to get the baby, Jesus and Mary and escape to Egypt. They are to stay there to wait out the disaster that Herod is about to inflict on all the baby boys in area, in an attempt to kill the new born king. So, overnight they pack their bags and flee south.

There’s understandably been a lot of people saying in recent days that this is not what they want to happen at Christmas time. That this is not what Christmas is supposed to be like.

And yet, Joseph and Mary show us that actually, Christmas is a lot messier than we would want it to be, unfortunately.

Yours in praying it doesn’t get too much worse,


Photo by Kristina Paukshtite on

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