For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.
Dave Betzner serves as our Vacancy Pastor until a new pastor is called. He is celebrating his 50th year in ministry this year having served as Pastor, Vacancy Pastor and an Intentional Interim Pastor.
He spends his free time fishing, bike riding, gardening, and being part of the lives of his 3 children and 8 grandchildren. His wife of 48 years died in 2014.
Pastor Dave has served churches in North Carolina, Maryland, Delaware and Virginia.
A number of years ago someone called our attention to the reality that while many were decorating trees, singing Christmas carols, attending parties, buying gifts, and generally rejoicing round the Christmas season there were a good number of people who were not having a good time at all, in fact, they were plain down or depressed.
It seemed the “up tempo” of it all was driving them down because they had experienced a recent trauma (illness, death in the family, loss of a job, divorce, house burned down), and, the “up" of others exaggerated their pain, like a punch in the gut and drove them further down. It is true that our excessive highs can be a burden on others. Often we don’t even pick up what it’s doing to others.
Out of this somebody came up with the idea of Blue Christmas or a Blue Christmas Service for those folks who could use some spiritual support or the support of a group of folks who were also having a down time. This provided a place to gather with others who respected their situation and feelings, and honored them by listening to them and caring for them in a setting which was safe, included the reading of scripture and prayer and, even communing together. Bathing themselves in God’s word, God’s love, and the incarnation of God’s care eased their pain, gave them hope and provided an ongoing connection.
If you are having that kind of “season" please feel free to share that with me. Know that God loves you and you are important to him and me. You are in my prayers. Remember, Emmanuel, God is with us and "he hears our cries out of the depths."(Psalm 130). And if you are not in that place please be sensitive to those who are with your words and your actions. Your sensitivity and care will bless them.
Peace, Pastor Dave