Perhaps you have broken relationships in your family, or you are struggling in your marriage. Perhaps you are exhausted from day in and day out of running after little ones. Or maybe you are emotionally spent from hoping and waiting to have little ones. Maybe you are grieving, a recent loss of a loved one. Or perhaps Christmas presses deep into the wound of an old grief. Or maybe it has just been a long, hard year, and it is hard to turn your heart towards the joy of Christmas. Maybe you are just too busy. Whatever the cause, it is ok if Christmas is a hard time for you.
Here’s what I suggest you do. Find a good recording of the Christmas song “O Come O Come Emmanuel”. I highly recommend the Pentatonix accapella version that you can listen to here. Find a comfortable place on your own where you can listen to the song. Close your eyes, let your guard down. Be open to God’s Spirit to be present with you.
While the first verse plays, let the haunting minor harmonies resonate inside. Let the dissonant chords as well as the dissonant words of the song connect with what is burdening your heart this season. Ransom. Captive. Mourns. Exile. Silently pray the words the song starts with – “O come O come Emmanuel”. Cry them out if need be. Come Jesus into whatever burden, sadness, or darkness is present in me. Now pay close attention to the words of the chorus.
Rejoice! Emmanuel shall come to you.
Find joy in Jesus.
Jesus, Emmanuel, God with us.
What burdens Are you carrying into this season? Whatever grief, pain or struggle, you do not need to tell me. But Jesus – who is God with you – He has open arms. Tell him. Put them in his hands. Cry, release the breathe you have been holding, and let go.
Then rejoice in this One who choose to come to us and for us. Though a burden may be present in your life this Christmas, it does not mean He is not. He hears your cries. He is with you. Give him your praise, not your demands. Give Him your trust and let Him carry you this Christmas season.
Please feel free to leave a comment below. Though I do not need to know what burdens your heart this Christmas, it would be encouraging to hear from others who are trusting Jesus to carry them through this season. Love and His peace to each of you!