For a long time, I have felt that Christmas festivities can become oppressive. It is as if we are all supposed to be merry all the time. I am a pretty upbeat person, but constant merriment wears me out! And one of the ways I have sometimes coped is excessive eating and drinking, which I always regret. I have now learned that the season is considerably more difficult for many people, particularly people with addictions and people who have lost a loved one.
Our Blue Christmas service is a chance for us to come together without being merry. We acknowledge our pain and our struggles. We offer our pain and our struggles up to God. And we receive a bit of healing grace that makes our struggles a little easier to bear.
In some ways, our Blue Christmas service is our purest expression of the true Christmas spirit. After all, Christ came to save a broken world. Christ makes God’s grace and love known precisely in the midst of our suffering. The good news of great joy that we celebrate at Christmas is that Christ loves us enough to enter into our brokenness and make us whole.
At our Blue Christmas service, we give thanks to God for that good news. And in the process, we receive something deeper than superficial merriment and fun. We get a taste of true joy and abundant life. Thanks be to God!