We are entering the season where much is “merry and bright”, except NOT for many. I recently received a note from a friend with an article stating that “grief is a joy observed”.
It was especially helpful to me as I reflected on the word JOY, one of the Sundays in Advent where we anticipate with joy the coming of the Christ Child yet joyfulness is not within the grasp of those who are suffering from loss, whether that be from the death of a loved one or the loss of a job, or even sentiments about the state of our nation. Even joyful happenings such as a long awaited move to a new job or a new location is a loss in some sense. It is healthy to grieve such events, whether they be large or small losses. I have often mentioned to folks who experience the passing of a loved one, that folks generally do not weep for someone who hasn’t loved them, which seems somewhat counter , since it generally assumed that we weep because it is we who have loved someone and our tears flow as one who has been the “giver” rather than the “receiver.”
The Long Night Service on December 21, 7 pm, in Cowan Chapel, is designed for those who have experienced a loss in some measure, as well as those who come as support for those who have. Longnight Service Facebook event
Madeline L’Engle has named this the “Irrational Season” and that it is. It is not rational that the Savior of the world should be born in a stable. It is not rational that Peace comes through vulnerability rather than power. It is not rational that it is possible that in the midst of great loss, there can also be great joy. However, if we can cherish the memories of our loved ones and earlier experiences and focus on the lasting power of the love associated with persons and places, rather than the deep, deep loss experienced, we too can find the elusive joy which which is not “the jingle bell rock” joy, but a joy that transcends and transforms and brings our loss into the Light which the dark can never extinguish.
May your Advent be a time of living wholly into the Healing Spirit and Love that comes, even in the darkest times. Please invite me to share your grief and healing. We are both enriched as we seek the shared joy that can be ours through miracle of this new-born babe in the manger.
Peace and Blessings,
- Advent Events, including link to Berea College Christmas Concert!
- December 9 Budget Meeting, after Worship and Lunch
- Endowment Bylaws to be Voted Upon December 16
- Opportunities to Serve – this Advent Season and Beyond
- Prayer in Action – Inspiration from October’s Worship Wonders
- Youth Group “Cards for a Cause” Fundraiser!
- Union Church Choir performs at Carnegie Hall!
- News of the Family, Birthdays and Anniversaries