Friday, December 30, 2016

One More Post Christmas Musing

This year was the first time I had heard of the Blue Christmas Service which the church is offering for those who find Christmas to be more tougher than joyous.  Hard times do not necessarily stay away from folks just because it is the Christmas season.  These hard and difficult moments can create scaring memories which seem to bring pain on each anniversary of the moment.  When I was seven years old, my father was buried on Christmas Eve.  No Christmas has passed through the decades of life that this painful memory is not remembered.  No matter how much joyous celebration is around, it never completely obscures the memory. 
Of course, I am not the only one who has such memories during the Christmas season.  It is good to see the church responding with sensitivity and care for those who find the Christmas season to be filled with a mixture of pain and joy.  The Blue Christmas ministry reminds me of other opportunities for the church to express special sensitivity for people whose experiences take them outside the normal response of a particular holiday.  For example, Father's Day and Mother's Day can be very painful for children who have lost one or both parents either because of death, divorce, or abandonment.  It is hard for such children to be in a church environment which gives them no room to deal with their own parental issues.  Also, on Mother's Day or Father's Day, there are Moms and Dads who desperately want to hear a child call them by that name, but it has never happened.
Caring for people is not always easy in the society of ours with such diverse needs, but how important it is that folks in pain do not fall through the cracks while everyone else is celebrating.  The special days will always have special meaning for us as they should.  The Blue Christmas Service speaks of a church stepping into a field of ministry where many people have been dwelling unnoticed.  May it give birth to other ministries for the ones who find their hurts amplified by the holiday.

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