Strands of Garland, a Staircase and Immanuel

It was just a year ago that I was filled with anticipation over moving into our ‘new’ home! I remember not being too thrilled about decorating for Christmas though, all I could think about was unpacking a mountain of boxes and settling into and making a ‘home’ for us again.

This year it’s a different story! Christmas will be everywhere in the house!

Yesterday I unraveled all the Christmas garland and counted the staircase railings to be covered in fake greenery, one…two…three…four…five…six. O bother! (In the words of Winnie the Pooh), this was going to be a project, but I was excited to use some creative energy and give our home a storybook atmosphere (okay, so it’s an excuse to play house!).

As I began my artist work I discovered that I was entering into a mystical world of wonder in my mind. Images began to unfold before me, and I began to ponder around one question.

But Before I let you in on my question, I should tell you that I had music playing with the volume on high. I wanted the entire house to be filled with the sound of Christmas. The music I had selected was Michael W. Smith’s Christmas album,”It’s A Wonderful Christmas”.

My question emerged as I listened to the lyrics of one song in particular, “The Promise”. It’s a song written about ‘Immanuel’ (one of the names given to Jesus meaning “God with us”). The instrumentation set the stage for the lyrics. The sound was grand and eerie, and I allowed it to envelope me as I began to climb the stairs to begin my work of decorating.

What if I could literally climb stairs to the throne of God, what if I was able to step upward with intent and fearful expectation of standing before the One who created me? 

The song lyrics rang in my ears: “And we will sing Emmanuel, God is with us, God is for us, God is in us, we will sing….we sing Alleluia, We’re singing Alleluia, Emmanuel, our God is with us.”

God is WITH us!! I remembered that God’s word speaks of this name! It is a name of  significance because of its meaning.

‘ “Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall call his name Immanuel” (which means, God with us).’ Matt. 1:23

The intent of my blog today is not to unpack the details of the birth of Jesus Christ, but rather to share simply how incredible this name ‘Immanuel’ is for us and to us.

I do not have to climb anything or walk to anywhere to find God. The impact of Immanuel is found in the promise that through Jesus, God would ALWAYS be WITH us….  

We are NEVER alone!

The staircase, the music, the vision of approaching Holy ground were symbolic of a heart, my heart, needing to search and discover the mysterious unexplainable heavenly realm; God met me in the middle of my childlike story to remind me that some things have already been given, and some things already are, like Immanuel: God with us.

How I celebrate this intimate gift as I enter into yet another Christmas season!

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