Elvis Presley may have been on to something when he sang the song, Blue Christmas. Turns out, for one in five people actually have one.
“It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.” Except if you’re grieving a death. Or divorce. Or experiencing a job loss, health challenge, hunger, homelessness or separation from a loved one. There’s all sorts of sadness. You are not alone.
Studies indicate that this time of year brings the most stress, loneliness, and depression. In a season of celebration, all the messiness of our past and present doesn’t seem to have a place; yet the holiday season can amplify feelings of sorrow, pain and tragedy.
At Knox it is our privilege to offer a space where the reality of life with all its pain and grief does not have to be left at the church door but can sit alongside the HOPE and LIGHT which is the real heart of Christmas.
Please know, that there is LIGHT in the midst of darkness.
Blessing for the Longest Night
All throughout these months as the shadows have lengthened, this blessing has been gathering itself, making ready, preparing for this night.
It has practiced walking in the dark, traveling with its eyes closed, feeling its way, by memory, by touch, by the pull of the moon even as it wanes.
So believe me when I tell you this blessing will reach you even if you have not light enough to read it; it will find you even though you cannot see it coming.
You will know the moment of its arriving by your release of the breath you have held so long; a loosening of the clenching in your hands, of the clutch around your heart; a thinning of the darkness that had drawn itself around you.
This blessing does not mean to take the night away but it knows its hidden roads, knows the resting spots along the path, knows what it means to travel in the company of a friend.
So when this blessing comes, take its hand.
Set out on the road you cannot see.
This is the night when you can trust that any direction you go, you will be walking toward the dawn.
by Jan Richardson