Monday, December 28, 2009

Blue Christmas

This past month has been a difficult one.  Now that my depression has lifted I am feeling the homesickness more acutely.  This in addition to being sick for almsot 4 weeks.  It has also been difficult posting here so to get me started again I thought I would share my Blue Christmas.

Because this time of year is most difficult for those who are feeling the loss of a loved one(s). my church put on a Blue Christmas Service.  It was so awesome!  I think all who attended shed at least a few tears.  Me?  I cried most of the service.  I'd like to share with you some of the servcice.

We all know the story of Mary & Joseph & baby Jesus.  It was time for Mary to give birth, they found an inn but there was no room for them. 

Do you know the story of Winnie the Pooh:  A Christmas Tale?  I didn't, but here is what I have learned.  Eeyore loses his tale (again).  Apparently he is a sad figure - always gloomy.  This particular story is about the hunt for his tail right before Christmas.  All ends well though as he gets his tail back. 

That's a fairy tale, not real life.  Wouldn't it be nice if could fix things that easily that are broken in our life? 
As we all know, we can't

Loss is painful and enduring.  Some losses are never recovered - death is final.  Some losses give us another chance - once unemployed, we can yet work again.   But each loss has the same crushing effect.  We are left wounded and are forever changed.  At Christmas, loss is magnified by the expectation of a joyful celebration.  we can feel utterly alone in the midst of a crowd.  At such a time, we can also feel utterly separated from God.

But, remember God knows firsthand our pain.  Jesus came to a family, community and world that has no place for him.  Before he takes his first breath, Christ already encounters our brokeness.  With his last breath, he encounters it again.  All along the way, Jesus - God's Christ - carries our sorrow and pain.

In Jesus, we have a God who does not take away our pain, but joins us in it.

We may be adults, but don't we yearn for our Moms & Dads to take away our pain by listening, or giving us a hug, etc.

God's presence in Christ in our lives transforms us, so that we can face our losses with courage.  God may not cure us, but he brings us healing and peace.  He brings HOPE.  With hope, we can go forward embracing the reality of our loss without being overwhelmed by it.

When we lose something of value - a dream, a relationship, a life - we lose a part of ourselves.  In Christ, God comes with this healing presence to journey with us in our loss, inviting us to find our wholeness, peace and life - our SHALOM - in and through him.  He is our healing and hope.

Lord God, as you promised that the wilderness itself would rejoice and blossom, so now I pray that you might let the wilderness within me shout for joy.  My heart aches and my loss consumes me.  I miss Mom, and Randy, now not with me anymore.  Comfort me with your healing presence, and let the gift of your grace illuminate this dark moment.  Replace my emptiness with the fullness of your peace, so that this moment of felt sadness might give way to a holy moment of joy and blessing:  through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord, the Prince of Peace. Amen.

"The God of hope will fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." (Romans 15:13)

Let the quiet healing presence of Christ renew your day with peace and joy.