John 1:1-5, 14
There is a reason that we have a Blue Christmas Service near the longest night of the year. The day that has the least amount of sunlight, in the midst of what most people assume is a joyous time of year. Just walk into any store and they will tell you so. It is not joyous for many people. The holidays can bring a heightened sense of anxiety and also depression. The holidays seem to multiply the realizations that have hit us during the past year.
When we are not experiencing the loss, we wonder what to say to the person that is. We want to have just the right words.
What are we to say to the new father who lost his wife shortly after the birth of their first born child due to complications?
What are we to say to the woman whose fiance was struck by a car while walking on the sidewalk and ends up in the emergency room and dies in the hospital?
What are we to say in the present moment when it appears that all hope has vanished?
Just maybe, nothing needs to be said.
The presence of another person is the one thing that truly matters. To comfort as God comforts us. Just being present in the moment and providing a shoulder to cry on, an ear to listen, or patience to just sit in the silence. To sit and be. To live in the moment with someone that is truly struggling and to witness to the pain and suffering.
Being with others can be the beginning of healing. That is the hope of this service tonight. To just be a presence in your life and offer an opportunity to sit and pray, or simply just be in the moment. In our silence, God is present. In our words of prayer, God is present. In our voices, God is present. You may not feel it in the moment and I completely understand. Because some things we experience are truly awful and it is difficult to find God in the midst of any of it.
So, maybe we do not need to celebrate. Perhaps we just need to sit and be for awhile. To sit and be comforted. God calls us into relationship for this very thing. To love and be with one another. We do not always get it right. In fact, we probably get it wrong more times then we get it right. Being present for one another and sitting in the silence can and will open up an opportunity for Christ to work in the midst of it.
God came into this very world to just be with us! To walk with us. To sit and break bread with us. To listen and pray for us. In the incarnation there is a hope that can never be banished. This hope has been with us from the very beginning with the Word, and all things came into being through it. That means you and me. That means Christ can be found in all of us. To truly embrace it, we open ourselves up to the love and grace of God that has come and walks among us.
In the bleakness of winter, let us be. Let us just sit and wait and be reminded of the hope that was, is, and will be with us in Jesus Christ.