I was talking to a colleague the other day, and he described a special service that is offered every year at his church. It’s called a Blue Christmas worship service, and it is specifically designed for the ones for whom the holidays bring increased sadness, not joy. It could be fresh grief, physical difficulties, broken relationships, financial problems, or maybe a sense of ongoing loneliness that is heightened this time of year. My hunch is, especially with beautiful Christmas cards and selective social media posting, we easily believe everyone is merry and bright while we’re stuck in our sadness. Our blue Christmases.

My friend went on to say that one of the blessings of the service is for those who attend to look around and see the crowd. One person remarked, “I thought I was the only one who was having a blue Christmas, but it turns out there were many others.” Rarely are we as alone as we think we are.

May I suggest three blue Christmas ideas? First, give yourself permission to have a blue Christmas- or, at the least, just acknowledge that it is okay for every Christmas to have a shade of blue. No one is merry and bright all the way through. Second, be on the lookout for the ones among us who are the most blue. Pay attention to the people God puts in your path who need the encouragement of a call, a card, and invitation, or prayer. Sometimes when we’re reaching out to others, we find our own sadness lifting. And third, take your blue Christmas to the Lord. I think that’s what I like best about the Blue Christmas service- and all worship: it is an opportunity to sit before the one who has come to be The Prince of Peace. In him, we find healing.

May the peace of Christ be yours this Christmas,

Pastor Daniel