Photo and Commentary ©2020 by Shelley Schurch
Sunday, November 29, 2020

Everyone is kicking it up a notch. That’s what one of our neighbors said, using other words, as we chatted with her on our walk. We complimented her on the extensive Christmas lights and inflatables with which she was transforming her house and front yard, and she said, “I thought we needed to do more this year.”

And so many of our neighbors have done more, and have done it earlier than usual– we’ve never looked so festive in November!

The all-blue tree you see in the photo above caught my eye last week and stirred my curiosity: I want to know, Why all blue? In the absence of anyone to ask, I’m wondering:

Do they simply like the color? Me, too – it’s a beautiful blue.

Or are they honoring police? During most of my growing-up days, my father was a policeman, so I would join them in paying tribute to the men and women in blue who show up and help when we need them.

Or maybe the all-blue tree is commentary on our COVID Christmas? The phrase “Blue Christmas” usually refers to a holiday that is marked by loss and grief. That’s us; that’s 2020.

Maybe the family is personally facing a “Blue Christmas.” I look back 38 years ago to the year that my mother died 3 days before her birthday and 6 weeks before Christmas. That was the bluest Christmas we had known, feeling her absence so sharply that it hurt deeply.

Is this you this year? Are you facing an all-blue Christmas, or one tinged with blue, as you grieve for someone or something that you have loved and lost?

If so, we remember together that it’s true that God knows blue. Grief entered God’s heart early in our planet’s history, as Adam and Eve chose to distrust Him, even in Eden’s paradise. Then the first human born into this world killed his brother. And ten generations into this world’s existence, this is what God sees:

Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. (Genesis 6:5-6)

The way I read my Bible, it’s one long story of a loving, yearning God reaching out, coming down, seeking the lost, paying the price after counting the cost.

God not only knows blue; He is blue! He is True-Blue! My dictionary defines “true-blue” as, “unwavering in one’s commitment.” We see Jesus walking on this earth, not in random paths, but on His Messiah mission, steadily walking to the cross. Unwavering. We see Him agonize in Gethsemane, yet choose to stay true-blue to His commitment to give His life so that we could choose to live with him forever.

As you walk into this week, and this holiday season, when you have bouts of feeling blue, remember that the Lord has stayed true-blue, all for love of you.