Christmas is a color-filled season. The landscape has changed from the vibrant red, yellow, and orange of fall to the stark greys and browns of early winter. The hours of daylight grows less and less as we inch towards the new year and the deep freeze of January. But just before things become too bleak we celebrate Christmas with the bright colors of green, red, silver, and gold. Homes are decorated with light. Evergreen trees are hung with memories. Traditions are brought out of the attic and scattered around the house. Garlands of ribbon and pine grace doorways and windows. Before we explore the colors of red, green, gold, and silver we must recognize one other color of the season – blue.
For some blue is symbolic of winter, frost, and snow. Some Christian traditions see blue as a sign of purity and blessedness. Mary in a nativity creche is often draped in blue. But for many folks blue is the color of their feelings. The bright and joy-filled season brings heartache, sorrow, grief, and depression instead of joy and hope. Maybe that’s you.
If we’re honest we’ll recognize that we all have some blue in our Christmas. Maybe you’ve already experienced it as families struggled to find a viable day to gather. Or worried about how to afford the gifts that would bring joy to your child. These may be momentary but they are blue nonetheless.
To be honest the point of Christmas is our blueness. You could say that it is the reason for the season. Christmas doesn’t cause our blues; Christmas celebrates their demise. Forget colored lights, presents, Santa, parties, traditions, and all the other trappings of Christmas. Focus instead on an insignificant couple in a backwater village relegated to a dirty stable and the birth of a son. Jesus was born to take on our sin by suffering and dying on a cross.
Soon after the birth of Jesus Mary and Joseph took the baby to the temple in Jerusalem. While there they encountered Simeon, a devout man watching for God’s plan. Seeing Jesus, Mary and Joseph he blessed them and prophesied, “Behold, this Child is appointed for the fall and rise of many in Israel, and for a sign to be opposed— and a sword will pierce even your own soul—to the end that thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.” (Luke 2:34–35, NASB95) That word must have reverberated through Mary for all of Jesus’ thirty-some years. A blue note in the midst of a hopeful melody.
Your Christmas blues may be a single note, a whole symphony or something in between. This may be the dreaded first Christmas after the death of a loved one. Or perhaps it is found in the wounds and scars of Christmas past. It may be the stress caused as we move through the seasons of life. Jesus knows and cares about your blues. He invites you to cast all of your cares, worries, stresses, and anxiousness on Him because He cares for you. You may think that you don’t have the strength or ability. In fact, no one does. All Jesus asks is our willingness, He provides the strength and ability. I can promise you this. Giving Jesus your cares, worries, stresses, and anxiety may not change your circumstances but it will change your life forever.
In the coming weeks as we draw nearer to Christmas we will explore the other colors of red, silver, green, and gold. Those colors tell us more of the story of how Jesus takes away our blues.