What color is your holiday? It is a question that a friend of mine likes to ask people this time of year. Most often, people meet this question with a rather puzzled look, somewhat confused. “What do you mean, ‘what color is my holiday,’” frequently is the reply.
Such a question is typically followed with an explanation something like this. “Well you know, some people’s holiday time is white and bright – the most wonderful time of the year. Other people’s holiday time is red and green – filled with traditional trappings and trimmings. Still other’s is gold or yellow – expectant and joyful. Some would say that their holiday is like the many different colored lights of the tree – some good things, and some not so good things. And still others would say that their holiday is blue – sad, lonely, sorrowful.
So what about you, what color is your holiday?
Sometimes this time of year can be especially difficult. Maybe you are dealing with the loss of a loved one, a terminal illness for yourself or someone whom you hold close to your heart. Perhaps you are uncertain about the future – what you are called to do and who you are called to be. Maybe you are going through a divorce or the loss of a best friend. Maybe things are just plain challenging right now. Any of the reasons that you might find yourself feeling blue can make all of the festivities and joviality of this time of year not only difficult, but painful and mournful as well. You may find yourself wondering, is there anything for me this time of year? Is there any word that speaks to my feelings, my heart?
The answer is a resounding “yes!” The prophet Isaiah records these word, comfort, comfort my people, says your God, and the Gospel of John declares the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not over come it.
Whether your heart is full of joy or sorrow, delight or despair, may you be held by the promise that the God who left heaven to sojourn in the wilderness of earth, the God who set aside glory to hold your pain so that you might be healed – this God is with you, Emmanuel – in all the circumstances of your life to hold you, strengthen you and give you peace. May this promise bring you hope – whatever the color of your holiday.
Rev. James A. Wetzstein and Rev. Charlene M. Rachuy Cox serve as university pastors at Valpo and take turns writing weekly reflections.