• Jill Jarrell Newsome

Blue Christmas

Christmas is a time of joy for many but it can also be a time of sorrow. I sure miss my dad at Christmas. He and I loved Christmas so much and were always the first ones up. Christmas will never be the same without him but I try to think of the wonderful time he is having in God's presence. I always think of those who have lost loved ones and are experiencing their "first" Christmas without their loved ones. This Christmas our family lost a special person in our life so Mom and I went to the Blue Christmas service at church.

The Blue Christmas service honors the empty chair and memories of those we love by lighting four candles. God gave us His greatest gift in His Son, Jesus Christ and He gave us the loved ones we lost. The first candle is for our love for them. They were God’s gift to us and we are thankful for our time together. The second candle reminds us that God gave us His greatest gift in His Son, Jesus Christ and He gave us the loved ones we lost. This candle represents our memory of past holidays and the traditions that we created with our loved ones and their uniqueness that made the holidays special. We thank God for the gift their lives brought to our lives. The third candle represents the grief we are experiencing. As we believe our loved ones are in God’s presence we ask God to grant us the “courage to persevere in the work of grieving so that we can confront our sorrow and move through the pain to the other side of grief.” The fourth candle lit signified our hope for the future. As Christians, we have hope. We have Jesus in our hearts and He conquered death and the grave. We have hope because God holds each of us in His care. He will never leave us. Hebrews 13: 5, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” He will go through the fire and pain with us, eventually changing our mourning into dancing. Psalm 30: 11, “You have turned for me my mourning into dancing…”

I remember wanting to cancel those first holidays because it hurt so bad. As I worked through my grief I realized that Christmas is also for those of us who mourn and grieve because Jesus conquered the very things that create such sorrow in our hearts. The blood and death that surrounded the birth of Jesus can make His light even brighter to those who are grieving. He came to offer us forgiveness and the hope of eternal life. I love how my pastor said, if God brought you that kind of love, He will bring you more love. He will continue to bless you like He blessed you with that loved one.

May you cling to God during this time. Job 5: 11, "The lowly he sets on high, and those who mourn are lifted to safety." Isaiah 41: 10, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Because of God’s promise, we can sing, “Because He lives, we can face tomorrow!”


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