Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. Believe in God, believe also in me. (John 14:27,1, NRSV)
At the end of the year time seems to fly by even faster. Can you believe it is only seven and a half weeks left until Christmas? Before Halloween is over, we have already begun with Christmas decorations being displayed and Christmas music being played in some stores. The Christmas season gets longer and longer commercially. For many of us, we look forward to the holiday times with friends and families. For others, it is a difficult time, especially for those who are grieving.
At our house, my Mom was an Elvis fan, so we always played his Christmas album. I loved to make fun of the song “Blue Christmas.” If you have every heard the original one put out by Elvis, you will know why. The back-up singers have a chorus that I don’t even know how to spell: (A woo wa woo wa, A woo wa woo wa) or something like that. Believe me, you have never heard it in any other song. But the message of the song rings true for many. “I’ll have a blue Christmas without you.” Our hearts ache for our loved ones who are not here with us to celebrate. Grieving is very hard to experience, but we can not skip it.
If you find yourself feeling blue for the holiday season, go the Lord in prayer. Ask Jesus to give you peace and comfort. Reach out to a trusted friend, and share how you are feeling. Do not feel obligated to observe all of the same holiday traditions. Make some new memories that are different from the ones you used to share with your beloved. And reduce the stress in your life by changing your expectations. If you don’t feel like putting up a Christmas tree, you will not be breaking the law if you do not do it! Be good to yourself. The house does not have to be perfect, and you do not have to spend yourself into a huge hole of debt in order to observe Thanksgiving and Christmas. Keep it simple! My prayer it that you experience the love and peace of Jesus during this fast approaching season!