15 & 16 Dec 2018
Dear family in Christ
For many people living in countries that experience the four seasons, the melancholy of the Fall season deepens into the depression of Winter. Scientists and researchers agree that people who suffer from winter depression, also known as “Seasonal Affective Disorder” (S.A.D.), have one thing in common – they are particularly sensitive to light, or the lack of it. This winter depression is felt deeply even in the midst of busy Christmas festivities.
Some years ago, I had to provide emergency pastoral care for a church member who wanted to end her life. She felt very depressed and suicidal amidst all the Christmas festivities because of a very difficult family situation. Amidst all the bright lights, loud music and festive shopping along Orchard Road and the heartland shopping malls, I wonder how many people amongst the festive throng are depressed, lonely or even suicidal. Some may be grieving over a relationship loss, experiencing conflicts in their family, or feeling anxious about their health, finances and future.
During this Christmas season, may I encourage you to look out for those in your family, in our church, at your workplace and among your friends, who may be feeling down, depressed or lonely. Pray and ask God for a compassionate and discerning heart to care for them in several ways: (1) Share a word of encouragement; (2) Write a card to cheer them up; (3) Spend time with them over a meal or outing; (4) Invite them to your family meal or to your Home Cell Christmas celebration or our church Christmas service.
May the Light of Christ fill your hearts with God’s unfailing love, unspeakable joy and unceasing peace always.