I was so struck by this reflection on Christmas by Brent Strawn of Emory University entitled “A Pale Blue Christmas” I had to share it. He is challenging the trend in some churches of adding a new service into the regular Christmas fare to invite all who mourn. But, Strawn points out that he has a problem with making that service separate from the regular services because:
“…the reality [is] that sorrow and joy live together, in complicated ways, always.”
And, somehow, in that wrinkle between such sorrow at the death of Mack and yet such gratitude for his life and joy and time with us, I catch a glimpse of what I can only describe as Grace. And in that wrinkle the Christmas story has come alive for me.
2 thoughts on ““A Pale Blue Christmas””
Thanks for posting Brent Strawn’s article. I love your phrase, “in that wrinkle between such sorrow at death and yet such gratitude for life, I catch a glimpse of grace.” Therein are the roots for a chapter on grace in your next book! -Lee McCardle
Mr. Strawn’s article mentions the story of the three kings as one of the joys of Christmas … and of course it is. But as a young boy I remember often reflecting on this verse from the Christmas carol “We Three Kings.”
“Myrrh is mine; it’s bitter perfume, breaths a life of gathering doom, sorrowing, sighing, bleeding, dying, sealed in a stone-cold tomb.” Of course, the next line of the carol is the most important one: “Glorious now behold Him arise … “