Encouragement for a Blue Christmas
Many churches around the world hold “Blue Christmas” services. “Blue” services are meant to remind us that not everyone embraces the Christmas season with eager anticipation, especially after a difficult year.
This Christmas Season
Because of COVID-19, almost everything about our lives has been shifted and turned upside down this year—and the holidays are certainly no exception. Days that are usually marked by joyful gatherings and food-filled celebrations have become points of contention and concern. You may find yourself disagreeing with relatives on how to approach the holidays—or preparing to spend the days alone due to the distance. Perhaps rather than finding joy in shopping for gifts, you’ve watched your savings dwindle due to the loss of a job. Or maybe you’re wondering how you’ll manage a smile through “the happiest season of all” as you mourn the absence of a loved one.
Finding joy this Christmas season may feel difficult for some people and impossible for others. Even the “best time of the year” feels tinted blue by the events that preceded it. As we struggle to find hope in these difficult times, perhaps we can find comfort by recalling the imperfect circumstances that surrounded the “first Christmas.”
The “First” Christmas
So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no guest room available for them. Luke 2:4-7
Traveling by foot, pregnant and unmarried. Laboring through childbirth far from home. Welcoming your first child into the world in the presence of animals. Talk about a Blue Christmas! Yet it was here, in the midst of these less-than-ideal circumstances, that the story of “good news that will cause great joy” came to us. The “good news” of Christmas, after all, has never been about a season, but about a person: Jesus, our Immanuel.
Finding Peace in a Blue Christmas
Despite the very real hurt and sadness we may be feeling this season, we can find hope because we know that Jesus is still our Immanuel, literally, “God with us” (Matthew 1:23). His presence does not change with the world around us; whether we experience loneliness, loss, or any number of struggles, God is right there.
Though we may struggle to experience joy in a Blue Christmas, we can find rest in God’s presence. He holds us tightly, and will “come near to [us]” if we come near to him (James 4:8).
Today devotional has gathered a set of fourteen encouraging devotions to reassure you that even during a Blue Christmas, you’re not alone. Subscribe here to receive the free ebook and 14-day series.