While shop windows and TV commercials relentlessly proclaim that everyone is joyful during the holiday season, for many of us, that is not the case. In fact, this time of year can be particularly difficult for those who are grieving, struggling, or suffering. The world is telling us that we should be happy, that everyone else is happy, and yet we are not feeling it.
Christian faith does not deny the reality of suffering, and does not proclaim cheap joy. And while the birth of the Christ child is something over which to rejoice, we know that his life was marked by suffering and death–that the shadow of the cross was cast over the manger.
So, on December 18 at 7 p.m., St. Peter’s will have a Blue Christmas service. This is a simple service of prayer and reflection, a time to acknowledge our sadness and pain, to remember those we love who have died, and to offer it all to our great sign of hope, the Holy Child of Bethlehem.