I imagine that I am not alone in saying that I will not miss 2020. Very few people have escaped this year unscathed, while at best most of us have seen our daily lives turned upside down. In too many instances, Kentuckians lost loved ones, the ability to provide for their families, or even their fragile hold over an addiction or substance abuse.
While I am looking forward to flipping the calendar to 2021, I do want to wish all of you a Merry Christmas and take a moment to reflect on what we can still celebrate. It is not an easy task, with our friends and neighbors struggling under the weight of both the pandemic and the state’s response to it. There might be fewer people at our tables and fewer presents around the tree, nevertheless, Christmas still provides us an opportunity to reflect on the greatest gift ever given – the birth of a baby come to save mankind.
I continue to hear people use the word “unprecedented” to describe so much this year. Without a doubt the challenges are significant. However, so was the Spanish Flu, polio, World War I, and many other events that our nation and world have endured. You know what else was unprecedented? The birth of Jesus. Imagine what Mary thought when she learned she would give birth to the Messiah? What ran through Joseph’s mind? Then, think about their reaction to Caesar Augustus’ decree that a registration must be carried out in the land, an executive order that required people travel to their town of origin in order to comply.
While we struggle with the reality and politics of this pandemic, I think about how Mary felt as she rode that donkey from her home in Nazareth to Bethlehem. Mary was well into her pregnancy, heavy with child, and painfully aware of every bump in the rocky road. As night came, they were turned away from every inn until finally one innkeeper offered a small space in what was basically a barn.
Yet, from that hardship came great joy as Mary gave birth to a healthy baby boy, a child who would grow to manhood to preach and share our Father’s word. As St. John the Apostle wrote in the fourth gospel, “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.” (John 1:4-5).
That light shines even today, giving us the courage to overcome the unprecedented and the faith to know that with Him, we can use the setbacks of 2020 to strengthen our resolve. As a legislator, I believe we can get our state back on the right path, restore what we have accomplished to create good jobs, build our economy, and ensure that opportunity knows no limits. I am a realist and I know this will not be easy. However, we must move as quickly as possible toward normal. Our children need to be in school and our businesses need to be open. I intend to do all I can to ensure that Kentucky is open for business. The hardships and aftermath of the closures we have experienced are immeasurable, and our focus must be on recouping the loss of education and economics.
Again, I want to wish you and yours a very Merry Christmas. I will be returning to Frankfort as we convene the 2021 Regular Session on Jan. 5 and hope to update you on our agenda and the work we accomplish with future legislative updates. Until then, let’s put 2020 to rest.
As always, it is an honor and a privilege to serve you in Frankfort and I hope you will never hesitate to contact me if I can be of service. I also hope you will feel free to contact me over the next few week.
I can be reached at home anytime on my cell phone at 606-524-0227 or through the toll-free message line in Frankfort at 1-800-372-7181. You can also contact me via e-mail at Regina.firstname.lastname@example.org.