Daily Advent Devotions from Church Street UMC
Thursday, December 16
In Honor of Our Stephen Ministers
An UnMerry Christmas
Read Philippians 4:4
“The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ.”
Advent and Christmas are upon us — usually a time of excitement and celebration! But what if you aren’t feeling that way this year? The pandemic has affected all our lives. You may have lost a loved one; you may have had Covid yourself. Almost certainly, you have been separated from the people you love most. This year many of us are lonely and wondering how we can celebrate.
Even in December, everyone is vulnerable to all kinds of ordinary losses, and now we have added the danger and loneliness of Covid. These situations and feelings can’t help but spill over into the holidays. It’s unavoidable. For many people, this may be a sad Christmas. If you’re feeling blue instead of festive this year, what can you do?
- Remember you are not the only one feeling this way.
- If you are grieving, don’t hide or be ashamed.
- Treat yourself with kindness. Remember that you are okay.
- Consider the reasons for your feelings; acknowledge them; accept them.
- Call upon the Lord in prayer; perhaps write down your feelings and your prayers.
- If you are alone, observe the season in any way that feels right to you.
- If you will be separated from family members, think about how you might safely celebrate with them.
- Ask for help. A Pastor or Stephen Minister will gladly listen and pray with you.
- If you need to cut back on activities or presents or customs, do so.
- Attend the Service of Healing and Hope at Church Street on Sunday, December 19 at 4 p.m. in the nave, for meaningful worship with people who share your feelings.
Whatever you are going through, always remember that Advent and Christmas reminds us of God’s love. Rest in that love, and trust the Lord to carry you through.
Dear Lord, Please draw near, and calm the hurt and sorrow I am feeling. Please envelop me with your love and peace that is beyond all understanding. Thank you for the miracle of Christmas and help me to embrace its meaning during this difficult time. Amen.