Three Songs to Sing When Christmas Comes in a Minor Key

It’s not uncommon to have a blue Christmas in a fallen world. We’ve all been there. The empty chair at Chritmas dinner because of sickness or death. The sparse gifts under the tree because of unemployment. The stab of holiday depression because of failure, setback, shame, or some kind of chemical imbalance. It’s hard to have a “holly jolly” when you’re sitting in the sad seat. Or the sick seat. It’s even worse when everyone else around you doesn’t seem to have a care in the world.

But this year seems different. Harder. Stranger. Almost apocalyptic. Farmers tell us manure is great when it’s spread around, but we all know it just stinks to high heaven when it’s all piled up in one place. For many people, 2020 has been that kind of a year, and it’s taken its toll. We’re physically drained and emotionally fatigued. With 20 days left in 2020, we wonder what else can go wrong. Hitherto we’ve lived through:

  • The Australian bushfires
  • Prince Harry and Megan quitting the royal family
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and its many lockdowns
  • Kobe Bryant and his daughter killed in a helicopter crash
  • The impeachment trial of the President of the United States
  • The stock market crash and record unemployment
  • The George Floyd tragedy and the resulting protests
  • Rumors that Kim Jun Un, the leader of North Korea, had died
  • Widesperad censorship and hostility on social media
  • Manipulation of the masses by Big Tech and a corrupt media
  • A bitter and still unresolved U.S. Presidential election
  • Outrage at politicians ignoring their own pandemic restrictions
  • The arrival of murder hornets to the United States
  • A massive explosion in the capital of Lebanon
  • Severe wildfires on the West Coast of the United States
  • The death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg
  • U.S. President Donald Trump testing positive for COVID-19
  • The death of Sean Connery, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Trebek, and many others

And those are just the big things we know about. Your family can probably add to the list. Maybe you’ve had your own disappointments, tears, and heartbreaks this year. Maybe you’ve been bedridden, hospitalized, quarantined, or out of work because of the virus. Maybe you’ve felt the sting of your own unmet expectations. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life” (Prov 13:12). Some of us are still waiting for that tree of life, aren’t we?

God cares.

That’s why he came to us on that first Christmas. God in Christ didn’t avoid the miseries of this world. Rather, he entered into them, experienced them firsthand, and then swallowed them up. He’s coming again someday to make all things new. In the meantime, we can count on his lavishing love to carry us through the hard times.

Have a good cry if you need to. “Blessed are those who mourn,” said Jesus. He should know. Christ had tears streaming down his own cheeks on more than one occasion. He was “a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief.” So, you’re in good company if you “lose it” once in a while. It’s o.k. to not be o.k. for a season. After all, it’s only a season. “Joy comes in the morning.” So, dare to cling to hope, too. And let Hope himself cling to you. The Christmas manger leads to an empty tomb.

Here are three songs for when you’re singing Christmas in a minor key—two by Casting Crowns and one by Francesca Battistelli. Let them flow like liquid love over your aching heart. And feel free to contact This New Life if you have a special prayer request this time of year. You are loved. And you are not alone.

“Somewhere in Your Silent Night”
by Casting Crowns

Somewhere in your silent night
Heaven hears the song your broken heart has cried
Hope is here, just lift your head
For love has come to find you
Somewhere in your silent night

“I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day”
by Casting Crowns

Then rang the bells more loud and deep
God is not dead, nor does he sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail 
With peace on earth, good will to men

“Behold Him”
by Francesca Battistelli

In your silent night
When you’re not all right
Lift your eyes and behold him
Feel the thrill of hope
You are not alone
In this moment, behold him

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