They say all is calm and all is bright,
but our spirits toss and turn and our hearts are not glad.
They say angels echo a joyous strain,
but our thoughts are looping on what we have lost.
They say a place was made in a manger for a wondrous child,
but there are empty spaces in our beds, vacant chairs in our workplaces;
we reach for the phone to call a familiar voice that will not answer.
Our anger points us towards what should not yet be gone.
Institutions prize profit over people,
Illness and war break bodies and spirits,
The last of a species, even now, breathes its final breath.
We rage against systems that are made for death instead of life.
Our grief is love with nowhere to land.
We go door to door but there is no place for it to stay.
So we welcome the sun setting early,
for only the longest night can tend to this sorrow;
only the bluest hues can meet us in this ache.
The collective grief of the world is too much to comprehend,
so we speak the names of the ones we know.
We light candles for all this love we still have burning.
Call to worship
Friends, the longest night is here for you to rest, for you to weep, for us to gather in body or spirit with those who live in heartbreak too. So let the blue hues bathe you, whatever the state of your soul. You do not have to sing a glad song. There need not be a reframe, a turn of phrase, a positive spin, for the Holy Spirit meets us in the depths.
Voice 1: Cried the Psalmist: “My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, ‘Where is your God?’” (Psalm 42:3)
Voice 2: Then I looked, and behold, a hand was extended to me; and lo, a scroll was in it. When He spread it out before me, it was written on the front and back, and written on it were lamentations, mourning and woe. (Ezekiel 2:9-10)
Voice 3: For the mountains I will take up a weeping and wailing, and for the pastures of the wilderness, a dirge. (Jeremiah 9:10)
– Rev. Molly Bolton, enfleshed