Hope Community Church in Rockford will be celebrating a “Blue Christmas” worship on Thursday, Dec. 16 at 7 p.m. The “Blue Christmas” service is specially designed for those who are coping with loss or pain. It may be the first Christmas without a loved family member who has recently died, it may be filled with stress related to loss of employment or a broken relationship. The constant refrains on radio and television, in shopping malls and churches, about the happiness of the season and about getting together with family and friends reminds many people of what they have lost or what they are missing. The anguish of the death of a loved one can make us feel alone in the midst of everyone else celebrating. We need the space and time to acknowledge our sadness or emptiness; we need to know that we are not alone. We need encouragement to live the days ahead of us.
When our hearts are heavy, hearing Christmas songs that describe “the most wonderful time of the year” rings a bit hollow. Instead we might feel we are living the lyrics of the 1957 hit “Blue Christmas” when Elvis Presley sings, “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you, I’ll be so blue just thinking about you.” Yet, even in the midst of this pain, there is the desire to somehow connect with God. We often feel afraid, angry, ashamed. That’s OK. God is there with us in our pain. Putting words to this season can often be difficult. But we do this together in our address to God.
The “Blue Christmas” service is a bit quieter, with a couple of softer Advent and Christmas hymns, Scripture readings, special prayers and a time for all to light candles. The service is shorter than normal worship and, at Hope, does not include a sermon.
If your heart is heavy or you wish to give the gift of encouraging presence to those that are, come join us for our special “Blue Christmas” worship service. For more information contact Hope Community Church, 7000 Myers Lake Ave. NE, Rockford, 1/4 mile north of Belding Road, or call (616) 874-4673, or visit www.hoperockford.org.