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FROM THE PULPIT: Blue Christmas services scheduled

Both society and Hollywood have impressed upon us that Christmas is supposed to be a time of warm, fuzzy gatherings around the Christmas tree, opening presents with family and loved ones, sipping eggnog by the fireside.

But the truth of the matter is, there are those for whom Christmas can be rather painful. There are those who are going through difficult and challenging times. Some are grieving the loss of a loved one. Some are struggling with illness. Some have experienced the loss of a job, or the break-up of a significant relationship.

The “warm fuzzies” are far off. The Hollywood version of Christmas is not a possibility for them. Instead, people like this are in need of the assurance and comfort that God has not abandoned them, and that they will make it through the Christmas season intact emotionally and spiritually.

In years gone by, the suffering people of Israel looked for the long-awaited Messiah. In their longing, they were given a hope-filled message about God. This message expressed the belief and understanding that no matter what happens to us, God will be there to comfort and support us.

That promise is still alive today.

When someone is sad, the color blue is coupled with sadness. The reason for this is we associate water with blue. Tears are made mostly of water. Therefore, are blue. So sadness is related to the color blue.

Jay Johnson and Billy Hayes wrote a song, which was recorded by Elvis Presley in 1957. It was entitled “Blue Christmas.” In part, the words are:

“I’ll have a blue Christmas without you

I’ll be so blue just thinkin’ about you

Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree

Won’t be the same if you’re not here with me.”

If you are experiencing a “Blue Christmas” for whatever reason, and would like to be reassured that God is still beside you to give comfort and support, there will be two brief and identical “Blue Christmas” services at First Presbyterian Church, 492 N. Ferdon Blvd. in Crestview.

One is 4 p.m. and the other is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 21. They are open to everyone.

If you are seeking comfort, hope, wholeness, and renewal as Christmas Day approaches, make some time for quiet reflection, for knowing it is okay to feel “blue” at Christmas, and for remembering God is beside you every moment of every day.

The gift of the Christ-Child is that he meets us where we are, as we are, and will lift our hearts in love and grace.

Mark Broadhead

The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.

This article originally appeared on Crestview News Bulletin: FROM THE PULPIT: Blue Christmas services scheduled