What do these two songs have in common?
Deck the Halls
“Deck the halls with ball of holly; fa, la, la, la, la_ la, la, la, la!
‘Tis the season to be jolly; fa, la, la, la, la_ la, la, la, la!
Don we all our jay apparel; fa, la, la, la, la_ la, la, la, la!
Strike the harp and join the carol: fa, la, la, la, la_ la, la, la, la!”
“I’ll have a blue Christmas without you,
I’ll be so blue just thinking about you.
Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
Won’t be the same dear, if you’re not here with me
I’ll have a blue Christmas without you.”
They both exude with emotion!
Christmas is a time for families to gather and celebrate the birth of our Lord. It’s a time of festivity and joy, as the hymn says; “Joy to the world the Lord is come.”
But have you ever thought that for some it is not a time of joy but loneliness and sorrow?
Many of us can think of someone who was with us last year but are not with us this year. Someone who brought joy into our lives is gone, passed away and their seat at the table is empty. There are a growing number of churches today that are holding annual Blue Christmas services for those faced with the grief of the loss of a loved one. This is an opportunity for people to come together in the presence of God and acknowledge their grief and sorrow without being condemned for being a party pooper.
Although our Lord’s birth brought us great joy, yet his life was one marked by sorrow and grief. More than likely he lost his earthly father Joseph possibly in his teen years. As his itinerate ministry grew so did his opposition and soon he felt the sting of rejection and betrayal. He knew the pain of losing a close friend (Lazarus). He knew the hurt that is associated with being forsaken by his followers. But most of all he felt the anguish of seeing his own Father turn his back on him and he cried out “Father, why have you forsaken me?”
Despite these difficulties, these characteristics stand out in our Lord’s life.
His Compassion – Matt. 14:14
“And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.”
His Tears – John 11:35 He wept for his friends…“Jesus wept”
His Joy – Hebrews 12:2
“Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
Fa, la, la, la, la_ la, la, la, la!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Bryan M. Powell
Stranger in the Pulpit
Stranger in the White House
Seeing Jesus a Three Dimensional Look at Worship