When I was young, I remember my dad getting ready to lead worship by putting a “pick-up” inside his guitar that he would plug into an amplifier so his guitar would be louder. The sound that came out of the amplifier made it much easier to hear the music.
As I sit this morning by my Christmas tree and think back over the last year, my memories seem louder. I think Christmas does that. It amplifies everything. Family becomes bigger. Friends become family. Gratitude for blessings overflow. Everything is special. You want to capture each moment, hold onto the feeling, embrace the season.
Unless you don’t
Because just like the sense of joy and gratitude is amplified, so is the deep sense of loss and loneliness that is present for many of us. The empty space looms larger. The silence becomes deafening. And sorrow rises again as grief becomes palpable.
The Advent and Christmas seasons take the “noise” of our lives; the background hum we learn to live with, and amplifies it so it can’t be ignored. For the good things, this brings great joy. For the sad things, this brings sorrow.
As the crescendo of our lives rises in a cacophony of sound, there is a resounding cymbal crash as Christ emerges on the scene. His presence changes the symphony. His “God with Us” appearance overwhelms the noise. When we recognize His entrance into the song, everything changes.
The Psalmist declares, “Oh, Magnify the Lord with me; let us exalt His name together!”
Magnify – Make Bigger – Amplify.
That’s what Christ came to do. He understands the noise. He understands the joys and the sorrows. He understands that our hearts are malleable; they twist and turn with each rise and fall in our lives. He came to be bigger than all of that; to be present in each moment and to be louder than them all.
In the sadness, to be Redeemer.
In the joy, to be Prince of Peace.
In the heartache, to be the Eternal Hope.
In the anticipation, to be the Messiah.
In all, to be our Emmanuel, our God WITH us.
I recently read a quote that said, “When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm, not join their chaos” (L. R. Knost).
That is what Christ has done for us.
He has come into our sea of big emotions and put out His calming hand. At Christmas, we can experience this more than any other time, if we magnify the Lord together.
And we can be that for our kids at this time of amplified noise. We can whisper in their ears, “Look at Jesus. He’s more than a Christmas story. He’s our Hope, our Peace, our Joy, our Love. He’s here to be bigger than our fears, bigger than our successes, bigger than our deepest sorrow. He is Emmanuel. He is God with us.”
Merry Christmas friends.
And Glory to God in the Highest.. peace on earth…good will toward all mankind.
For more information about
- Kids in Worship
- Determining which Type of Family Ministry model works best for your church
- Discipleship in Intergenerational community
- Encouraging the continued conversation through Practical Discipleship at Home
- Seminars, Workshops, Coaching
Check out to ReFocus Ministry or “like” our Facebook page. Join our conversation at theReFocus Family and Intergen Ministry group on Facebook.
About this Blog
Refocus Ministry was started by Christina Embree, wife to Pastor Luke, mom to three wonderful kids, and family minister at Nicholasville UMC. She is passionate about seeing churches partnering with families to encourage faith formation at home and equipping parents to disciple their kids in the faith. She recently graduated with a Masters of Arts in Ministry focusing on Family, Youth and Children’s Ministry at Wesley Seminary, she also blogs at www.refocusministry.org and is a contributing blogger at D6 Family and Seedbed
LOVE this! Last night as 17 of my family gathered in a vacation house living room, the peaceful calm of the first day of my vacation was shattered with joy by the sounds of laughter, playing and chatter. It was glorious music to my ears. This morning I sit here reading this while sipping my coffee to the sound of the ocean waves feeling grateful for God’s blessings & provisions. 2016 has been a rollercoaster of a year, but God’s love and faithfulness has been constant.