Blue Christmas

Last night, I was on the phone with my brother. He shared that our dear mother, who has struggled with Alzheimer’s for the past nine years, is regressing quickly. We talked about death and dying. We talked about the death of Ruth, my mother-in-law, who just two years ago, took a slide toward death during Christmas, 2015. She died a month later.

A blue Christmas. For many, Christmas is one of the most difficult times of the year. There are many reasons—from broken promises to unrealized expectations. Even with the happy songs on the radio to the festive lights, there can be a deep sense of sadness this time of year.

I often wonder how Joseph and Mary recalled that day. Taxed by Rome beyond their means, Joseph must have worried about the financial burden of providing for his new family. Alongside the financial pressure, they must have been exhausted from a week of walking through the bandit filled roadway from Galilee to Bethlehem. And then, no room in the Inn?

Stressed over finances, physically exhausted, and homeless. Not exactly the idyllic manger scene we’ve set up on our homes.

Yet the angels say, “Do not be afraid, for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy!” (Luke 2:10, NKJV). Christmas is proclaimed by angels as joy. CS Lewis once said, “Joy is the language of heaven.”

Joy is illusive, but it’s available. It’s available all year but it’s especially close at Christmas. Let’s take time this week, leading up to Christmas and even in the blue depressive state you might feel, ask God for joy. He will answer. After all, it’s what He says is the reason Jesus came.

Blue but joyful,