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A little testimony from Pastor Tim A little testimony from Pastor Tim

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A little testimony from Pastor Tim

Posted on Sun, Dec 22, 2013

Blue Christmas 2013

December 20, 13

 

Blue Christmas 2013

 

I am always thinking about a message that will help, comfort or convict, inspire, educate or at least help people understand one tiny sliver about the amazing gift of grace we find in the truth that God is Immanuel, “God with us.”

 

I think about the lives of my parishioners, my students, guests, seekers, doubters & skeptics, those living within tragedy or joy, and from there I begin to try to make connections between their lives and the texts and the meaning of the season that we find ourselves with…

 

This year, I think it is different. I normally love Christmas, the traditions, memories and music. But this year, our tree is still not decorated, we have not played our favorite Christmas CD’s, and whenever I turn on the radio and hear Christmas music, which is constant, I turn the radio off. I don’t have a CD, or mp3 player in my old Ford Taurus. Even my car is mostly silent accept for NPR when there is no Christmas related programs on.

 

This year, our Blue Christmas is just as much for me, as it is for everyone who may be feeling “Blue” or not really joyful this Christmas year.

 

Everybody has his or her own reasons for ‘needing’ to be here. I figured out my reason, as I was preparing for tonight. Some of us may just be lonely. Feeling lonely on an island that is the farthest populated island from any other populated place in the world can make you feel lonely.

 

Some of us may be struggling financially; just trying to find a job or a means to make it through each month. There are too many people underpaid for the hard work they do each and every day.

 

What is your reason?

 

I discovered my reason for NEEDING to be here, is because I am still very deep into my journey of grief… and maybe a little bit of fear. Within a year and a half or so, I lost both of my parents, 13 years of my youngest sons memory, and a colleague friend on Thursday, and I find myself always in a constant battle of depression and feeling adequate.  If being able to indentify and isolate your problems, is a huge step in finding healing and wholeness, I am on my way… but that doesn't make each breath any easier.

 

Have you ever noticed that sad thread that finds its way through so many Christmas songs? There was a great story on this topic on NPR today. Check out the words to this popular song: HAVE YOURSELF A MERRY LITTLE CHRISTMAS

(Martin, Blane) from the film “Meet Me In St. Louis”

 

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,

Let your heart be light

From now on,

our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,

Make the Yule-tide gay,

From now on,

our troubles will be miles away.

 

It is a wish or a prayer for a friend or loved one, but it is set in a time of want, need, sadness longing for a time of plenty, joy and celebration.  Other than children truly waiting for the arrival of Old Saint Nick, isn’t this a common feeling for most people. I can’t stand watching Target, Macy’s or even Home Depot commercials filled with clueless people being told what the perfect gift is… for their ‘loved ones.’ As if the marketing people in those stores knew all of our loved ones.

 

Lately, as I have heard the words of so many people who have lost loved ones, I have found myself responding, “Hold onto the Gospel.”

 

“Hold onto the Gospel.” “Hold onto the Gospel.” “Hold onto the Gospel.” What does that mean? It means the Good News of Christmas isn’t complete until Jesus comes out of that tomb, ascends into the heaven, and the angels, look at all the stunned disciples and people and say, “What are you looking at? Jesus, God with Us, has completed his mission. The sting of death is gone, the promise of God’s constant presence, guidance, inspiration, forgiveness and mercy will be with you to the end of the age! This is the Truth, and this is the fabric and foundation of your life journey.”

 

The promise of Easter doesn’t take the pain away, and certainly hasn't decorated our Christmas Tree… but it CARRIES me. It allows this human being, who wants to just crawl under a rock most of the time, to teach, sing, pray and be thankful.

 

Have you connected Christmas with Easter? If not, think about it. The book of Matthew begins with a very clear explanation of Jesus’ birth, and finishes with the greatest promise ever given:

 

18 And Jesus came and said to them, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’

 

Amen

 

 

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