Thursday, December 11, 2014

The Longest Night Service

One of the services we are going to offer this year is on December 21st at 7:00.  It is called "The Longest Night," and it isn't your typical service.  Frankly, it won't be for everyone.  So allow me to offer this explanation.

During December, the nights get longer and the daylight far shorter.  Then, when we hit the 21st, we find ourselves at the shortest day and the longest ‘night’ of the year.

The name of this special service takes its cues from that fact.  But more than that, it also applies to the feeling that a number of us have about this season.  It is a time of joy for most, but for many this time of year is difficult.  The 21st in particular is the longest night, perhaps the longest night in a symbolic way that catches hold of the difficulty this season brings for many.  It is a season when memories of past experiences, the pain of present experience, and worries of the future can become overwhelming.

For some, this time of year is the most difficult time of all.  To be honest, not everyone can understand or appreciate that.  This service, though, is meant for those who do understand that feeling all too well.

This service is specially designed for those persons for whom this time of year is not especially joyful.  We gather to remember that we are still called to be in community with one another in good times and in times of difficulty.  More importantly, we gather to remember that God continues to be with us no matter where we are in our journey in life.

So at this service, we will sing.  Those songs might bring tears.  They might cause emotion to well up within you.  We will hear passages from Scripture that might bring feelings of pain or strong emotion.  We invite you to recognize the pain these words might bring and offer that pain to Christ our Lord, who comes to offer comfort.

Most of all, we want you to know that as long as this night might be, you are not alone.  We welcome you, we cry with you, and we offer all we have to give, which is one another through the grace of Christ our Lord.

The Longest Night
December 21st, 2014 at 7:00 pm

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