Candles of HopeNew Every Morning | December 23, 2019
Many churches choose the longest night to invite those with losses, plus family and friends, to come for a time of worship. Usually the services include readings from scripture and prayers, but a common element of most is the lighting of candles. Even in the darkest time of year, when sadness wraps its arms around us tight, we can gather to light candles of memory and candles of hope. Liturgy affirms that God is a God who knows our grief and invites us to walk through the valley of death, loss, and grief. We do not escape the valleys in our lifetime, but scripture points to moving through grief with the courage to mourn.
—Larry J. Peacock, The Living Nativity: Preparing for Christmas with Saint Francis (Upper Room Books, 2018)
How does your church support people in moving through grief? Share your thoughts.
“God heals the brokenhearted
and bandages their wounds.”
—Psalm 147:3 (CEB)
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Good morning, UR family! I pray that all is well on this early Monday morning. May the Lord bless you and keep and lead you on through this day. Yes, Jesus is the Bright and Morning Star, the Lily of the Valley. He said He will never leave us or forsake us. Oh, well, I am so use to the early mornings reflections straight in my email, but God got another plan. “Bj, I want you to ponder more.” Yes, I been getting frustrating, but, I have begun to be kind and study the Word even more. And remember that being kind is not just a good option but a command from the Lord who has demonstrated amazing kidness me and you. Thank you, Lord! Back to the thought gor today; we all know there are no perfect churches because there are no perfect people. No, I only hear in the Baptist Church is to pray for the bereaved. I have never heard of a preacher preaching to the bereaved. To me, only God can comfort those bereaving. Well, there are those who are going through can attest. Prayers, thoughts, and concerns are good. Psam 30:5 tells us “For his anger endureth but a moment; his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” (KJV) Prayers for those mourning the loss of a loved one. By the way of, our flesh may be weak, and only God’s grace will we be an overcomer. We must pray fervently for each other. I really, really love this UR group. Mary, Merry Christmas to you too!
Thank you BJ!
May God bless you abundantly!
A “Blue” Christmas service was held on Saturday and a candle of hope was lit.
I am glad this kind of service is offered. Wonder if it is new.
Lots of prayers earlier this morning for the UR family, my own family and friends, and church members past and present.
Hanukkah began at sundown Sunday, Christmas Eve is tomorrow. Will be off to Brooklyn Thursday morning. It is a blessed week.
May your Christmas be full of all God offers. Thank You, Lord
No church that I have attended performed this ceremony. The last church I attended could benefit from such a service as the congregation was mostly older people and several members died each year. I observed how difficult the grieving process was for spouses who had spent most of their lives with a special person who was now gone to be with the Lord.
Prayers for BJ and her family, may they have a wonderful Christmas full of praise and love.
Prayers for Robert, may he be safe as he travels to visit his daughter and granddaughters.
Prayers for Andrea, her daughter, SIL and grandson. May this holy season touch the parents helping them to find peace and may their son no longer hear the adults issues.
Prayers for Connie and her family, for healing and joy.
Prayers for Lou and her daughters, may they share a warm holiday together.
Prayers for April and her family, may they have a wonderful Christmas.
Prayers for Jill and Larry, may they have a joy filled celebration.
Prayers for Mary and her family, may they have abundant joy in the Lord’s birthday.
Prayers for Marcy, for healing and hope.
Prayers for Rick aand his family, may they rejoice for God’s blessings.
My ex husband had a heart attack on Saturday. He had a stent put in one artery that was 100% blocked and he has some damage to his lower heart chambers. I ask for prayers for him and Megan, who is worried and scared. She and I spent yesterday with him. He had hoped to come home but did not and he was quite upset.
Prayers and thank you UR
May God bless you and Megan with a joyous and meaningful Christmas!
Just came back from carolling. Glad it’s over.
May God bless your ex husband with a speedy recovery and calm Megan!
Please take care, Julie!
As I type this I am saying a prayer of healing for Megan’s Dad. Also sending much love to you, Julie.
Thank you, Julie, for your prayers. May God strengthen and heal your ex-husband and bring comfort to Megan. May God bless you all with peace, hope, love and joy this Christmas.
Good Morning UR friends,
My denomination had many postings for Blue Christmas this year. I don’t recall this in the past. Most were on 20th as the longest day of the year. I wasn’t able to attend but I heard it was a Beautiful service with candle lighting. We offer a grief service class thoughout the year. We also started a Stephen’s Ministry program this year as well. It has been a pleasure to be part of this, as a Stephen’s Minister and Stephen’s leader.
Praying lifting up all who have experienced loss this year.
Prayers for BJ as she studies the scriptures and is lead by the Holy Spirt.
Prayers for Robert and Erich and safe travels as he heads to NY to be with family.
Prayers for Julie, I pray your daughter will be comforted and find clam. I pray your ex-husband has a full recovery.
Continued prayers, for Lou , Mary, Andrea, April,
Praying for all to have a Very Blessed and Merry Christmas. May you all experience the Peace, Hope, Joy, Trust and Love of our Savior Jesus.
Thank you Rick!
Merry Christmas to everyone!
Thank you, Rick. God bless you, and Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones.
I feel so blessed and fortunate to be attending cancer support groups at two different churches and still have my church home. The one church with the newer support group is the one which hosted the Hope and Remembrance service. My good friend from my home church accompanied me and was completely blown away by the service. It is my hope that very soon my church will have its own service to honor those who have passed. It is my desire to be part of the organization of this service. Though we are a considerably smaller congregation, inevitably we are touched losses. It seems much more noticeable this year, but that may be due to my loss.
I am grateful for the support and love I have received here, and continue to receive. Tears are near for my dad, and thus for me. Even yesterday on the phone, his voice cracks and my heart melts. He attempted to share his gratitude with his friends at church on Sunday, how they have been such a steady support for him, and he was unable to finish getting the words out. That may have said more than his words would have been able to convey. A young lady from his church who he didn’t even know by name initially, kept seeking him out, giving him gift cards to local restaurants. She showed up at his door Saturday with a poinsettia in honor of mom. Yeah – instant tears. So grateful for the hands and feet of Christ. May I be just as faithful.
Wishing all a contemplative Christmas Eve, full of His peace, with a grateful heart.
Much love to you and your Dad.