There’s a thread of sadness woven into this Christmas season for our family. We were supposed to celebrate with our Miss Lucy Mae. Her death has changed us. As short as her little life here on earth was, she has greatly impacted how we think and what we are focused on.
The thing is . . . grief strips away the unimportant and unnecessary . . . revealing what really matters.
So. None of our family will be purchasing gifts. We’re just not going to buy into the consumerism of Christmas this year. Looking backwards, I’ve realized that I’ve missed the gift of the Christmas season more than I’ve ever really experienced it because I’ve bought into the tasks and lists that come with our man-made expectations. There’s nothing more important than intentionally seeking and experiencing Immanuel. So. Now, it’s become more clear than ever, Christmas is about our relationship with God and one another. It’s what matters.
Isaiah announced it long before the first Christmas: All right then, the Lord himself will give you the sign. Look! The virgin will conceive a child! She will give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel (which means ‘God is with us’) (Isaiah 7:14, NLT).
Matthew re-wrote the words, defining the advent of Christ: “Look! The virgin will conceive a child. She will give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel, which means ‘God is with us.’” (Matthew 1:23, NLT).
It’s time we make room for Immanuel in Christmas, reclaiming the meaning and message: God is with us. When we focus on Immanuel, rather than on tasks or lists, we are focused on the Reason of Christmas, life itself. Everything changes when we come to the place of accepting the gift of the words: God is with us. No matter what we are facing, when we come to the place of understanding GOD is with us, we discover there’s more to life than what we see. And. When the meaning of Christmas is clarified, it’ comes down to receiving these four words, committing our life to these words of divine relationship, and living intentionally with God.
- Meditate on the gift of the presence of Christ every day of the season, determining to strip away the unimportant and unnecessary, asking to be filled with the Spirit, to be overflowing with the peace of Christ, to be empowered to reach out to others, doing only what matters. It will not only change your own Christmas experience, but those around you. I’m often surprised at how much we impact one another by our words, attitude, and actions.
At the end of each day, I thank God for a little girl, Lucy Mae, who danced through our lives for a brief moment, impacting the way we live, causing us to strip away the unimportant and unnecessary, teaching us about what really matters: God is with us.
Learning to Kickstart the day, stripping away the unimportant and unnecessary.
(Written by Kerrie Carlisle Palmer © 2012 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED)