A few days ago, I was meeting with another local pastor discussing our respective Christmas plans and she mentioned that her church was planning a “Blue Christmas” service.
While my mind was imagining the Elvis Pressley song, she explained that in some churches there is a tradition to hold a service for people experiencing grief and sadness during the Advent season. Sometimes known as the Longest Night service because it is held on Dec 21 (the longest night of the year), it is a time to gather acknowledging loss, pain, heartache and suffering and to remember the Lord as a “man of sorrow, acquainted with grief” (Isaiah 53:3).
2020 has taught me many things, but one thing in particular I have learned is that I often move too quickly past sadness and pain. Stuff it down; deal with it later (which is usually never). Our recent series on Ecclesiastes was a good reminder that there are seasons for joy and seasons for sadness.
If this is a season in which you’re experiencing sadness, grief, heartache or loss; know that you aren’t alone.
One of my roles here at the church is to walk alongside people in need of care and directing them toward a variety of resources. Care covers a spectrum of life circumstances; good, bad and ugly.
Care in the good usually means being especially present during happy occasions and celebrations. As a church, we know how to care in the good. Groupsare great at this kind of care.
Care in the bad usually means being especially present and providing support during the disappointments and difficult times. Many of us are good at providing this care but rarely at receiving it.
Care in the ugly usually means walking with people who have been harmed or who have caused harm to others. While God can use anyone to provide this kind of care, we generally recommend people to those who have had specific training to step in these circumstances.
HHICC is blessed to have a team of volunteer care givers who have been trained to walk alongside others through the bad and sometimes ugly. We call them Stephen Ministers. You can find out more HERE or by calling 843-806-3399 ext 240.
No matter how you feel this Christmas our great hope is that Christ has come, the fulfillment of the one of whom it was promised would bring great light to the people in darkest night. (Isaiah 9:2 & Matthew 4:16)
May your days be merry and bright!