Supporting Each Other Through the Holidays
December 6th, 2018 | April Karli
Throughout this season of Advent, as we await the coming of Christ, God with us, we hold the anticipation and joy of the season alongside grief and loss. We remember holidays past and mourn the loss of loved ones, dreams, jobs, relationships, or the way things used to be. This grief can feel unacceptable in light of the joy and celebration that is wrapped up in Christmas.
But an Austin Mustard Seed, we know that joy and grief can coexist. We believe in a God who enters into our grief and tends to our pain. And God calls us to embody this with each other; to care for each other’s hurts that often go overlooked.
Last Friday, we practiced this as a community with our Holiday Care Dinner. We welcomed new and old friends, gathered around tables, ate good food together, shared with those around our table what is hard about the holidays, and offered to come alongside one another in our grief.
Those who participated walked away lighter, knowing that they are not carrying their burdens alone. One participant said, “I came to the Holiday Care Dinner ready and willing to support others in their grief and help shoulder burdens. I ended up feeling comfortable enough to share my own hurt and listen to others, and I know I experienced true Christ-like fellowship and comfort, where everyone is seen and held with no judgment. I laughed and lamented, and I woke up the next morning feeling lighter.”
As we enter into the Advent, we approach God with every wonderful and difficult emotion, confident that we are held by both God and community. We wait together, knowing there is new life now and coming still.