While Christmas is supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, there are many individuals throughout the community who are feeling more so the effects of suffering and sadness. As a result, three Lincoln County churches and one in Catawba County have come together to offer the downtrodden a â€œBlue Christmas Worshipâ€ service Thursday at Sardis Lutheran Church in Hickory. Pastor John Locke of Trinity Lutheran Church in Vale is credited with organizing last yearâ€™s first Blue Christmas worship experience. He noted that while many attendants were unsure of what to expect at the event, a majority of them were spiritually transformed and left the service with a more a jubilant outlook on life. â€œThe Spirit works in mysterious ways,â€ Locke said. â€œIt reverberated with a lot of things they were going through and helped them to celebrate the seasonâ€”addressed a lot of their emotional needs.â€ Sardis Lutheranâ€™s pastor Anna Merritt, whoâ€™s set to present Thursdayâ€™s message, noted that Blue Christmas services have been taking place in churches nationwide for at least the last decade. She said itâ€™s a time to recognize that people may be having a difficult time adjusting to the cheerful season and may be experiencing financial problems, a death in the family or illness. â€œItâ€™s an opportunity to have a place to acknowledge thatâ€™s part of life and to reveal the hope of Jesus Christâ€™s birth,â€ she said. â€œIt was a very meaningful time for those who came last year.â€ Merritt also offered a spiritual parallel on the seasonâ€™s longer nights and shorter days and gave some insight into why the service is held during this particular time of year. â€œIn a time when itâ€™s dark outside, we can focus on the hope and light of Christ,â€ she said. In addition to Merritt and Locke, Rev. Dale Pederson of Cedar Grove Lutheran Church in Vale and Rev. Michael Collins from Lincolntonâ€™s Emmanuel Lutheran Church are set to participate in the event. Pastors will also be on-hand after the service to meet with any individual who needs prayer. Worship is free to attend and starts at 7 p.m. at Sardis Lutheran Church, 6103 N.C. Highway 10 West. For more information call (704) 462-2081.