Last Wednesday was our annual Blue Christmas Service.
We offer this unique worship service each year for those who are sad during the holidays. For many who have suffered loss, or who have gone through significant life-transitions, the holidays can be difficult. From Thanksgiving to Christmas to New Year’s Day, many of the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, and touches of the season may serve only to heighten the awareness of our loss, and deepen our pain.
That is why we offer this service. We devote sacred time and sacred space to creating a sanctuary for people who are hurting. Our worship during Blue Christmas, is designed to allow worshippers to come “just as they are” with no expectations to be “merry.” We gather for singing and silence; for prayer and contemplation.
One of the highlights of the night is “Lighting the Darkness.” It is based on John 1:5.
Sometimes, when there are no words to convey the pain we feel, there are symbols or actions we can take to speak for us. To that end, we have arranged the chapel with tables of blue tea light candles. At a designated time, while music plays, worshippers are encouraged to walk forward and light a candle. It is as if to proclaim with a single action, “I am in the midst of a dark time. Yet, I will believe in a light that breaks into this darkness, until it is no more.”
It is a defiant, even subversive act of faith to light a candle in the darkness.
Perhaps you did not have the opportunity to take part in our Blue Christmas service.
If so, I want to offer 2 invitations to you.
First, take the time to watch the service in its entirety here. Not only that, but share this link with someone who could use a word of encouragement this season.
Second, you are invited to stop by the Chapel anytime during the remainder of Advent. We have left the room decorated from our Blue Christmas Service (including the table of candles) for any and all who wish to spend a few quiet moments in solitude, contemplation, and prayer. The room will be monitored regularly, and is open for your prayers on Sundays and throughout the week as well.
May God’s Grace lift and empower you this day.
Johns Creek Baptist Church