Restoring Joy

WEB TEAM Langley Church

Think back to your favorite movie scene. Would you remember it if it contained no music? I am envious of composers who, through their music, can add passion, suspense and excitement. They make the moment unforgettable. We try to do the same with other songs we sing: How Great Thou Art, Amazing Grace, What Child Is This, Joy to the World, just to name a few.

But what are your thoughts and feelings when you hear a song filled with lyrics that reflect pain, sadness & loss? For example “Where Are You Christmas?” Its lyrics include the following lines: “Why can’t I find you, why have you gone away, where is the laughter you used to bring me… My world is changing… I’m not the same one, see what time has done…” 

2020 has been a year in which we have watched our world change almost instantaneously, and in this we have all experienced some form of loss. Some of us may be struggling with the death of a loved one. For others restrictions put in place mean we can no longer gather as family or friends. Others are struggling with a marriage in crisis or family members who are addicted to drugs/alcohol/pornography, or you, yourself are the victim of abuse/bullying.

Christmas “the happiest time of the year” suddenly is filled with emotions we do not want to deal with. We put on our brave face and bury any hurt. However, we run the risk of being bound to or becoming a slave of whatever is causing the hurt or pain and we find ourselves settling in to live a less meaningful life.

There is much freedom to be found in admitting to God and to others the hurt(s) we are experiencing. To be able to say it out loud and to come into the presence of God, the One who SEES you, KNOWS you & LOVES you! 

This Advent we want to give you the opportunity to identify areas in your life where you are experiencing hurt. Next week we will spend some time exploring the impact on your life and wrap it up a week later with a few ways you can share your story with others and hopefully experience more of the wondrous joys of Christmas.

We have created a “reflection” window at SouthRidge (the North-East corner window looking out to Golden Ears). This space was created for you to come and park, to sit with God, experience His presence and allow Him to comfort you. You can do the same at home if you wish, just find a quiet space, light a candle and spend some time sharing with God. Regardless of where or how you want to do this, name your hurts, your pains out loud. Allow God to hear them from you, His son/daughter. If you need to yell, yell; if you need to cry, cry. Be open and raw with God, He does know it already.

If you’re ready to talk with God, I encourage you to start with this prayer and then listen for His voice calling back to you. Merciful Lord, I am weak but you are strong. I am burned with grief; my heart is heavy, my spirit is crushed. Be my strength in times of weakness. Be my shelter from the storm. Amen

Written by Nathan Veenstra