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Blue Christmas


I’ll have a Blue Christmas without you
I’ll be so blue just thinking about you
Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
Won’t be the same dear, if you’re not here with me
And when those blue snowflakes start falling
That’s when those blue memories start calling
You’ll be doing all right, with your Christmas of white
But I’ll have a blue, blue blue blue Christmas
    A few years ago somebody told me about Blue Christmas prayer/worship services.  These are services that recognize that Christmas is not “merry” for everyone and that along with the celebration there is sadness and heartache that many people experience.  There are losses that people struggle with including loss of loved ones, loss of jobs, loss of relationships and loss of dreams.  Depression and emotional turmoil is not uncommon around the holidays as people journey through the soup mix of emotions.  Joy and sorrow.  Happiness and hurt.  Elation and depression.  Peace and conflict.  For many people it is a struggle to get hold of this and journey through it.
     One only has to read the story as related in the Gospel of Matthew to know that a “blueness” surrounded the birth of Christ.  On the one hand, the angels sang in celebration of the birth of a new-born king, while on the other hand King Herod plotted the death of the baby Jesus.  Soon after the Magi offered their gifts, mothers and fathers screamed in agony as their babies were ripped from their homes and slaughtered.  From the beginning of His life until the end, Jesus lived under the cloud of hatred, rejection and persecution. The very first Christmas could certainly be described as “blue” for many different reasons.
     But the “Blue Christmas” service is not simply about the pain.  It is about the hope that is found in Jesus as well.  He is born in obscurity and without a welcome mat put out for Him.  No storks on the lawn announcing the arrival of the new born child and no cute baby outfits to go home in.  There was no home to go back to, but instead a trip to the foreign land of Egypt where the new family would live as strangers in a strange land.  But Herod does not kill Him and He returns back to His home in Nazareth to grow up and begin His public ministry.  When He is an adult and the Romans do kill Him,  He rises from the dead and conquers the power of death.  His church, His “called out ones”, continue His mission through centuries of persecution and opposition.  Herod will not prevail but hope will.
       Christmas may have a tinge of powder blue in it for you.  Or it can be a deep sapphire blue.  But whatever shade you may be experiencing, remember that within that palette is Jesus, the hope of the world.  No effort has ever destroyed Christ or His church and nothing will ever be able to overpower or overcome you as you hold on tight to the love of Jesus.  He will carry you through the blue side of Christmas and shine a light into your darkness.  It is why He came.  It is who He is.
     Romans 8: 35 – 39  is not a typical Christmas verse but fits well as a “Blue Christmas” verse:
 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?  Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?   As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
    we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”  
 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors  through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,  neither the present nor the future,  nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God  that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.


What do you think?  How does it make you feel?
  Pete Scazzero’s recent podcast “The Blue In Christmas” expounds on the theological and personal implications of a Blue Christmas.