Sharing the Light to Lift Blue Christmas

Sharing the Light to Lift Blue Christmas

Jim Stinson, Former Consultant on Older Adult Ministries


Elvis got it right—at least for a lot of people. For many different reasons, his version of “Blue Christmas,” hit and still hits, a responsive chord in many. You, no doubt, recognize the lyrics.

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 if you’re not here with me.

At this time of year, with windows and stores glistening with lights and decorations, with carols playing constantly in stores, with flashy advertisements, with people with plans to be with their extended families and friends, it seems as if everyone ought to be in high spirits. But all are not. 

Even our own memories don’t always allow us to experience the joy. Memories of loss and pain come roaring back at this time of year for many. The trappings of the season can easily lull the church into forgetting its stories of faith—stories of closed doors, lack of shelter, of danger, and what have you. Stories of angels calming frightened shepherds, of wise men coming to see a new baby in a manger and leaving the manger fearful of returning home because their experience will likely cause the powers of the day to become all the more menacing. All of them capped by the real news of the season. Emmanuel, God is with us.

That is not only the headline; it is the whole story. It was and is a story meant for all the dispossessed, the lonely, and 

frightened of the day. It is the headline and story that needs to be heard again by the church, so that it becomes the living, visible proof of a God who is always with us.

We are the church. Our mission is to be the embodiment, the visible proof that God is with us. We are called to live as Christ, giving of ourselves so that others might not only not have a blue Christmas, but that they might have a joyous Christmas every day of the year.

So for those of us involved in older adult ministries we have a specific mission to those who often feel especially blue at this time of year, our older adults. Emmanuel needs to be seen in us as we go about our lives and ministries. God is with us! That is our message to all who are lonely, sad, despairing, wondering where the Christmases of other years have gone, and hoping for one this year.

Spreading that message is also our task. So may we hear our task and may we be about it. Bring them God who shines within and through us.