May 22, 2013 |
Inside Out 28: Holiday Grief
For most of us, Christmas is full of joy. For many, however, it is an especially painful time of year. For those who have lost a loved one, Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations are reminders that someone central to their lives is gone. There are fewer place settings at the table, fewer stockings on the mantle, fewer footprints in the snow after the Christmas Eve service.
I am aware that grief is solidly married to the holidays, but my knowledge is second-hand and shallow. In today’s podcast we hear from someone with more experience, a man who daily walks families through grief: David Carpenter, co-owner of both Carpenters and Phillips Funeral Homes in Corning, NY. He is one of the organizers of the Corning area Holiday Service of Remembrance, a time set aside each November for those who are grieving.
I know that those who love Jesus Christ understand that Christmas is more than tinsel, holly and bargains at Sears. I am wondering, though, if perhaps those among us who grieve each December know better than most the meaning of this holy day. I say this because sorrow has always been the subtext of Christmas. The baby wrapped in swaddling cloths in a rude wooden feed trough later had His clothing bargained for as He hung on the rough planks of a cross. The baby we celebrate in December is the very same God-Man who would suffer for our sins and who continues to take up our infirmities and carry our sorrows (Isaiah 53:4).