"Have a holly, jolly Christmas" Can you hear Burl Ives singing that song from Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer? Well, not everybody feels 'holly-jolly' at Christmas time, though our society seems to mandate we be 'in the holiday Spirit' and joyful 'when Christmas comes to town.' For many of us, especially folks who've suffered a loss through the death of a loved one, divorce, unemployment, etc. or those who are struggling with loneliness or financial struggles, the holiday season can be very painful.
The Blue Christmas service provides a time where people can sing familiar hymns, recount the hope of the Christmas story and shed a tear, and which also gives us a chance to say sadness is OK in this season. Christmas falls during the darkest season of the year when nightfall lasts the longest and by coming together in a Blue Christmas service we are reminded that the Christmas story starkly illustrates the contrast between light and darkness. While Jesus was born in the shadow of the cross, he was still born surrounded by God's creatures to witness to the world.
This is an opportunity for all to lend support to those who are less than jolly this "holiday season" so please come to support your friends-n-neighbors and brothers-n-sisters in Christ. We pray that those who attend the Dec. 1st service find it to be a chance to use their sorrow as a path to rejoicing come Dec. 25th.
This year's service will be held at the Ripley United Church of Christ (corner of Hwy. 63 and 4th St.) at 3 p.m. on Sunday, December 1. The service will be led by the pastors of Traer. Sponsoring the service are St. Luke Lutheran Church, St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, Traer United Methodist Church, Traer United Presbyterian Church and Ripley United Church of Christ, and co-sponsored by Overton Funeral Home.