Next Monday – 15th January – has been christened Blue Monday. They say the third Monday in January is the most depressing day of the year. It’s the ‘downer’ after Christmas. Valentine’s Day is still a month away and summer holidays are a distant fantasy. All the bills and bank statements start to come in and we may begin to count the real cost of Christmas spending.
Here in the UK there are only about eight hours of daylight and the light evenings are weeks away. As we look out of the window this morning, it is grey. Just grey. Not a lighter or darker patch in the sky anywhere. And it is probably going to be like this all day. As it has been most days so far this year. It is damp, not especially cold – just grey.
At times like this, we find it is easy to go a bit ‘grey’ ourselves. No highs or lows. A bit monochrome. Some Christians have a name for these - quite long – stretches between the great festivals of the church like Advent and Lent. They call it ‘’ordinary time’. The first section of ordinary time begins in early January soon after they have celebrated Epiphany– the visit of the three kings to the newly-born Jesus, and lasts till the beginning of Lent which, unusually this year, will fall on Valentine’s Day.
As people of faith we need to function, and our faith must function, on very ordinary days when there is no great colour to life. Lord, help us on grey, ordinary days like today. As Seventh-day Adventists, we give thanks that before Blue Monday comes the Sabbath – a weekly festival of reflecting and remembering - a celebration of faith and family. The Sabbath lightens the grey.