Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas Grief

In seminary I took a course called "Pastor as Person".  It was a required course for all students and most of us took it in our second year. It was all about how being a person, a human being with feelings, emotions, and experiences, affected our pastoral identity. It affects how we preach and how we interact with people. All and all it was a very interesting class taught by a stellar professor. It came to mind this year as I sat in our Christmas Eve service at church.
I've never looked at Christmas through the eyes of a grieving mother before.  I couldn't.  Not before I became a grieving mother.  Sitting in church listening to the pastor talk about the hope and expectation of a baby, a tiny bundle of hope coming, hurt.  It hurt a lot. Listening to the pastor talk about labor and delivery, reminded me of the baby that I would not deliver.  And I wept.
I wept for my baby who was already home with Jesus and I wept for all the babies who weren't home with their mothers and fathers this year.  The babies who were called home far too early for our liking.
And I do you approach Christmas with a sensitivity to all that hurt?  How do you a preach a Christmas message of hope and new life to those who are mourning the loss of life?
These (and others) are questions I ponder as my pastoral identity continues to be shaped. These are questions that I hope I can keep in mind if and when I ever get called to lead a congregation on my own. Because Christmas should bring hope to everyone.

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