I love Christmas. It is a time when we collectively lean into the Advent season and prepare our hearts to celebrate the birth of our Savior. Christmas is the “birthday of birthdays” and it can be an incredibly magical time, filled with joy and peace, laughter and love.
After this year, I think we could all use a good Christmas.
Of course, there will still be a commercial and worldly aspect to Christmas which can absolutely kill the real spirit of the season. I saw that Lowes started putting Christmas lights and yard decorations out in late September. Malls started packing their shelves to prepare for the “Black Friday” and “Cyber Monday” sales months before Black Friday even hit. It even feels like local radio stations start playing Christmas songs around the clock earlier and earlier each year. (I always thought that Z88.3 waited until AFTER Thanksgiving to start with the Christmas tunes? I think they started after Halloween this year. Oh, 2020 — you just can’t help yourself, can you? I digress…)
Yet, despite all of the obvious commercialism, Christmas continually rates as most American’s favorite holiday — even with people who aren’t Christians. In fact, when Americans name their preferred holiday, 46% report Christmas as their favorite. According to a Harris Poll, Christmas is the top choice across generations and genders, among households with and without kids under 18, among all political persuasions, and across racial lines as well.*
The cultural and national popularity coupled with the intense expectancy that comes with Christmas can make this time of year incredibly hard for many of us to navigate, especially if we find ourselves in a season of pain.
In The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis there is a character named “Father Christmas”, which Lewis uses to symbolizes both the benevolence and bounty of Christianity. There is a line from this book that I feel sums up how Christmas can feel when we are stuck in our pain. A Faun named Mr. Tumnus tells his new friend Lucy that ever since the evil White Witch had placed herself on the throne in Narnia it is, “… always winter, but never Christmas”.
If you are stuck in a season marred by pain — be it emotional, physical, or spiritual — it may feel like it’s always winter, but never Christmas in your soul.
When we experience suffering of any kind we move from being oriented in our reality into a state of disorientation. It is when we are disoriented in our pain that we become more vulnerable to disconnection, helplessness, anger, bitterness, loneliness, isolation, depression, and even hopelessness. We may ask ourselves, “Does anyone care about my pain? Does anybody see me?”
Yes. God cares about your pain. God sees you.
The vision and purpose of Blue Christmas is to create a space for our church to experience God’s presence, comfort, and hope.
Blue Christmas is about reorientation.
ORIENTATION ——> DISORIENTATION——> REORIENTATION
We reorient ourselves by transfixing our gaze upon Jesus within the context of a Christ-centered healing community. When we courageously engage in that process we both collectively and personally remind ourselves of what truly matters during Christmas; the hope of salvation.
“My God, you have not despised or scorned the suffering of the afflicted ones; You have not hidden your face from us but have listened to our cry for help.” — PSALM 22:24
God cares deeply about your pain. My sincere hope is that these services will help us all to surrender our pain to God and transform a Blue Christmas into a New Christmas; A True Christmas. You are not alone in your pain.
I pray that you would consider joining us on one of these nights.
— Chris Burns
Blue Christmas Service Information
- Due to the limited size of our space in theHub, and to maintain mask-wearing and social distancing, we are offering our Blue Christmas service 3 times. You are welcome to attend all 3 weeks. We would love for everyone in our church family to attend one of these services. These 3 services will be identical and we will offer CHILDCARE for all of these services.
- Our Blue Christmas services will be 1 hour, from 6 pm-7 pm in theHub on these Friday Nights: Dec 4th, Dec. 11th, & Dec.18th — We recommend that you come around 5:30 pm to grab a coffee and a seat.
- We will have our Prayer Warriors in the house to pray for you before, during, and after the service.
- We will have Stephen Ministry leaders onsite to speak with you after the service.
- Our Men’s and Women’s Care & Recovery groups will still be meeting from 7 pm-8 pm.
- If you still have questions about Blue Christmas you can email our Healing Minister, Chris Burns here: firstname.lastname@example.org
*SOURCE: https://theharrispoll.com/as-america-becomes-increasingly-diverse-our-traditions-are-bound-to- 1 change-and-adapt-but-thats-not-to-say-that-old-traditions-are-going-the-way-of-the-dodo-despite-annual outcries/