We sing about Christmas being “the most wonderful time of the year”, as we envision caroling, hot cocoa, gifts around the Christmas tree, and of course Hallmark Holiday specials on TV. And while for many Christmas is purely a time of joy & family, for many others it is a more conflicting season. Since this is the time when families reliably gather, it can make the absence of certain members more painful; whether they are gone because of divorce, distance or death – feelings of pain and resentment can steal our joy. Especially if we feel an expectation to be jolly and bright, this holiday season can bring some of the loneliest days of the year.
So how can the church care for those who grieve, and remember the real reason for the season (hint: it’s not about presents)? This year we are holding a special service to acknowledge the grief and sorrow that can accompany the Christmas Season. On Wednesday, December 21st, we’ll hold a Blue Christmas service at 7:00 p.m. This night, the longest darkness of the year, we’ll provide a place to mourn and experience our sorrows. Even in the darkest times, we believe there is hope – the light of the world is coming in just a few days: the gift of God’s presence with us, Emmanuel.
This will be a service of prayers, music, and reflection. Attendance is not limited to those who have suffered any specific or recent loss, but open to anyone who has a hard time during the holidays and would like a safe space. We remember that in our faith, it is okay to not be okay. We hope you’ll join us, and feel free to invite someone new who might benefit. This year we can sit in the darkness together.