Monday, December 21, 2015

Signs of the Season

December 21, the first day of winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Here in central Iowa it is as dark and gloomy as the photograph on the left. Can you even tell what it is supposed to be? It's an image of Christmas. That's also why I've linked it with this blue sign. I happen to be in a hospital right now, waiting for test results on my 90+ year-old mother. It will not be our first Christmas season spent in part or in whole in a hospital. Perhaps you're familiar with that, too?
If so, this post is for you, and for everyone who is not having such a holly jolly Christmas. I know a lot of you--you are missing a loved one who was with you last year and left a hole in your heart this year.  You are half-way through chemo and facing an uncertain future. Your home was bombed, and your country is in chaos. None of this has happened to you, but you've been depressed so long you've forgotten what it even feels like to be happy.
Whatever the reason, you aren't alone. Even in the midst of the frenetic tinseled hype of an American holiday season, a couple of local churches paused to hold an observance for those among us facing a blue Christmas.They were inspired by the baby in this little beam of light. You know, the one who grew up to be a man of sorrows, well acquainted with grief.

 Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. 

(Scripture references from Isaiah 53:3 and 53:4)

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