Christmas Can Be Brutal

Central,

We sing ‘Tis the season to be jolly!’ BUT for many of our family, friends and neighbors it is not a time to be jolly. What about those who cry out? My wife died last week. My daughter is gripped by depression. I was just told it’s malignant. My Dad died this year. I am so lonely. 

CHRISTMAS CAN BE BRUTAL! For many people, those who battle depression or anxiety or bipolar disorder or addiction, or profound grief, or a great many other things, it’s brutal. For so many it is a time of darkness. Actually, we all bear some darkness. During Advent the days are getting shorter and shorter, the darkness longer and longer. Into such darkness, Christ comes.

Kathryn Green-McCreight in her book, Darkness is My Only Companion: A Christian Response to Mental Illness tries to explain to those who seem to always be joyful how dark the darkness can be, and how there are no easy answers or quick fixes. She then reflects on the way God is present, not just when we feel better or get cured, but simply there, in the dark, where it is still dark. God is there, beside us, beneath us, around us, within us. This is what Christmas is about. 

This Sunday we will begin and end our worship in DARKNESS! In between these times of darkness, we will hear the scriptures, carols and songs that tell us of Emanuel, God with us. As we gather for the Service of Lessons and Carols may we know again what Christmas is all about. 

Is it not the story of when love crossed over and cast aside both crown and throne to live beside the common man? You can listen to the song at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jPM3TEzYpGg.

I look forward to being with you this Sunday at 8:15, 9:30 or 11:00!

Paul