Most of us have heard the songs for ‘Blue Christmas’ sung by a variety of musicians over the years. It’s about a personal loss of relationship, and heading toward Christmas in the midst of that loss. For all of us, loss comes in many forms: loss of a loved one, divorce, job loss, loneliness, food insecurity (the list goes on). This has been a particularly difficult year for many, many people. We long for this year to be over, thinking that perhaps in the coming year, things will be better. As this year has marched forward, when we think it can’t possibly get any worse, it does. People are stressed, stretched, anxious, angry, sad, heartbroken and weary. I know we ALL don’t feel this way, but many are trying to figure out how to do Christmas in new ways that are safe for everyone while retaining some sense of normal (whatever that is for you).
Covid-19 has created a time that is anything BUT normal. The illness rate and death toll continues to rise. Food insecurity isn’t new, but the number of people in need has grown significantly. Our economy is struggling, and there is political infighting around every corner. This is also a time of reckoning for all of us to face the racial injustices that have plagued this nation for hundreds of years. I don’t know about you, but I NEED Blue Christmas more than ever, this year!
Blue Christmas is a time of worship for reflection, prayer, listening, and remembering. It is so hard to grieve when others are trying to be happy. But the grief is real, and we, too, need to be real about where we are emotionally and spiritually. So I invite you to join me for worship: Blue Christmas. It will be available at 7 pm on December 18th. If you’d like, have a candle with you to light during the service.
This is the first time I’m using this platform, so I ask for your patience as I learn another new thing. I am going to try to contribute to this regularly. I’m not promising a daily blog, but we’ll see.
As we approach another Thanksgiving, I am keenly aware that many are struggling as they’re missing gatherings and community. I am, too. I miss roasting 3-5 turkeys for our Annual Thanksgiving Dinner. I miss the fellowship times following worship where we drink coffee, eat goodies, and catch up on life’s happenings. I miss sitting in my office with you studying, praying, planning, visiting. I shall miss being with my extended family who often travel here to be with us. I really miss all of you singing during worship! It feels so weird to be singing alone on Facebook Live! I so miss the energy, the Spirit that is YOU during worship. I am the church. YOU are the church! WE are the church, together! Wait, I think that’s a song! I bet you can find it on YouTube!
Anyway, as much as I miss you all, I’m confident that even while we are separated by space, we are still together in Spirit. And for this, I give thanks. I give thanks that we have an amazing community of generous, caring and faithful people. I give thanks that we can authentically be who we are and love each other no matter what. I give thanks that you all pitch in and help whenever and wherever help is needed. I give thanks that God shares life and love and hope and promise with us each and every day. I give thanks for the ministry to which God has called me and the ministry to which God has called us! I give thanks for the presence of the Spirit in our midst no matter where we are.
There is SO MUCH to give thanks for! May God bless you and your families through this time of Thanksgiving and beyond.
Oh! Don’t forget that this coming Sunday is the first Sunday of Advent! You won’t want to miss it!