On Tuesday, December 18 (exacly one week before Christmas Day) at 6:00 p.m. Two Rivers United Methodist Church will host a special service for those who are struggling at Christmas. For many, Christmas is a time of increased anxiety, stress, and sadness.
“When everything around you is telling you be ‘be of good cheer,’ but inside, you’re just hurting, the Blue Christmas service gives a voice to that part of you,” said Pastor Robb McCoy.
The service itself will be quite simple. There will be silence, quiet, contemplative music, prayer, Communion, and a ritual for healing. Above all, the service is a chance to tell the truth of life in a quiet setting during a time of year that can be very noisy.
The Bible is full of lamentation, or complaints. Some believe that complaining to God reveals a lack of faith, and that the only thing we should bring to God in worship is praise. I believe that is not only wrong, but dangerous. Complaint is a powerful statement of hope because a complaint recognizes that the world is not how it should be.
“I do not believe that everything happens for a reason – at least not in the classical sense that God controls all things. I believe that there are plenty of things that happen every day that go against God’s will,” says McCoy. “These things cause God to grieve alongside us.”
That is why things like Blue Christmas are important. It gives us a chance to be honest about the hard parts of life, to complain, to mourn, to worry, and to cry out to God, like Jesus on the cross and Psalm 22, “Why have you forsaken me?” Then we can take the time to hear the answer in prayer. When we lift up our lament, and take the time for quiet, spiritual reflection, we allow ourselves to be open to healing. God is there with us, right in the midst of the muck of life.