Much of what we do is mixed up with what everyone else does. We get caught up in the mainstream and go-with-the-flow. As if the mainstream is the ‘right’ way of getting to where we are presumably going. At Die-alogue Cafe we like to dig a bit deeper into the thinking that leads us to act in particular ways.
On what basis do we assume that this go-with-the-flow path is the right one? And that it will lead to happy and healthy outcomes?
Just as there are many end-of-year parties, there will be many end-of-life deaths that wait for no one and respect no cultural traditions.
It will therefore be something other than the merry Christmas that is projected by all the razzamatazz of the commercial world.
We offer this extract from the Wesley Mission website …
While tinsel drapes across the city and ‘Frosty the Snowman’ blares in shopping centres, many people find it difficult to feel joy around Christmas. The whole world seems to expect that people will be happy and that families will want to be together at this time of year. But for many people, this is simply not the reality. There are many of us who have experienced huge grief or feel the ‘chill’ of broken relationships and damaged dreams. Others of us are without family or friends or home or community, and the loss of this is especially felt at Christmas time. It is simply very difficult for a lot of people to be merry at Christmas.
Wesley Mission’s Blue Christmas service, also called a ‘Service of Solace,’ is an intentional time set apart from the rush and bustle of commercial and community expectations. It is a time in which those of us who struggle at this time of year are invited to know and name the dread, darkness and despair of human living; and perhaps find God ‘born again’ into our lives and travelling with us – especially during these times. In this service, people are invited to lament, and Bible stories are used that show lamenting, mourning and grieving as appropriate and faithful responses to what happens in life.
At this time of the year all kinds of assumptions about how we should or should not indulge ourselves are bandied about. Christmas is no simple celebration. But then it never has been. If you would like to dig a little deeper into the ‘how we got to where we are’ with the whole Christmas thing, then have a squiz at a couple of these explanations for why we do what we do at this time, year in and year out, as if it has always been thus.
At this Summer solstice time (southern hemisphere) we wish you well and trust that you are able to connect with family and friends and mother earth, in a spirit of thankfulness and appreciation. That the fruits of the earth and the gifts of community life will sustain us for yet another day.