Christmas is a season of good cheer, but for some it can mean a time of sharpened pain. Christmas can bring anxiety, stress, and deeper sense of loss. The Blue Christmas service on Wednesday, December 21 at 6:00 p.m. is a chance a time to speak this truth about Christmas. It is okay to be hurting at Christmas. This doesn’t mean you are less faithful. It doesn’t meant that there is something wrong with you. It doesn’t mean that you are a “Scrooge.” It just means that you are human.
The Blue Christmas service will be a short time of quiet reflection, prayer, and contemplation. There will be a song of lamentation – or complaint. There will be a time of quiet prayer. There will be a chance to speak publicly to the pain of the season – but this is certainly not required. There will also be a short ritual of transformation and an invitation to Christ’s table. Click below to see Pastor Robb on Paula Sands Live.
The Blue Christmas Service is Wednesday, December 21 at 6:00 p.m. This is a special time set aside for those who are hurting at Christmas. Learn more here.
The Christmas Eve worship will be at 6:30 in the evening. This traditional service will feature traditional Christmas songs, the lighting of candles, and the sharing of Communion. The service will retell the story of Christmas through songs and reading. Remember, all are invited to the Communion table. All are welcome, regardless of age, race, political leaning, class, nationality, gender, native language, or orientation. The message of Christmas is that all the barriers between humanity and God are removed. Indeed, Tiny Tim had it right when he declared, “God bless us, every one!.” For the last few weeks we have been looking at how the Redemption of Scrooge can matter to our Christmas today. This will be the final part of that story.
On Christmas Morning we will share a special interactive service designed especially for kids to help out. There is no need for rehearsal or costumes, and people of all ages are sure to enjoy this special re-telling of the “ABCs of Christmas.” In addition, people are invited to bring their gifts for the Holy Family. We have been reminded this year that Jesus and his family were refugees. The Gospel of Matthew tells us that the family had to flee from King Herod, who wanted Jesus dead. We know that Jesus survived, despite being a refugee in Egypt because someone there must have welcomed them. This Christmas, how can we do anything less? In response, we are creating a “Good Neighbor Kit,” to give to World Relief Moline. These Good Neighbor Kits include household items that will help a refugee family get settled in the area. If you don’t have a gift for the new family, you may still be able to select a gift and bring it at your earliest convenience.
The Blue Christmas service will be at 4:00 p.m. on December 22. This service is designed for those who are grieving. Grief takes many forms, and can be caused by many things. Grief can make it difficult to sing “Joy to the World,” for grief can drain the joy from our hearts.
The Blue Christmas service is a chance to name the grief, not to dwell in it. It is a chance for those who are hurting to know that they are not alone. Christmas is a time for joy, but the only path to true joy lies through authentically naming the fear, worry, and doubt that clouds our vision of Christ.
This service will include music, silence, a brief ritual, and Communion. It will end at sunset of the longest night of the year. Read a reflection written by our Pastor Robb on his blog.
Two Rivers Church is at 1820 5th Avenue in Rock Island. For more information, call the church office at 309-788-9384