Hello and Happy New Year!! And by the way, congratulations friend. Look at you – you made it. You’ve crossed the threshold into what we thought might never come – 2021. It wasn’t easy, but here you are – here we are – a brand new year. Whew!!
I’m glad you asked! On Christmas morning I found myself thinking about the Three Wisemen. About their (and my, and your) arduous journey and ultimate arrival. And how, at the end, they laid down that which had been carefully (painstakingly?) carried – the frankincense, gold and myrrh. What accompanied them for months and miles found its resting place at the feet of Jesus.
This caused me to ask of myself (and maybe of you?):
What, dear soul, have you carried over this long and arduous year? And can you now, upon arrival, lay it down? That which you have held so long, protected even. Can you, like the wise ones of old, lay it down, let it go, and leave a different way?
As I sat with these questions I realized how encumbered I am. How I’m carrying the accumulated from months and miles. How heavy it has become. As I climb down from my figurative camel I find my arms full of accumulated sorrows, offenses, worries, weight. So much I’ve borne to this point and place.
Instead of the wise ones, I suddenly feel more akin to the little drummer boy. My arms may be laden, but I have no gift to bring that’s fit to give a king.
In the words of Christina Rossetti:
What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
Friend, that which we’ve been carrying is that which we can give. Be it gift, grace, grief or grievance. Lay it down. Let it go. Leave a different way. You don’t want to carry that into where you’re going next, do you? I didn’t think so.
The gift of Jesus, even as a babe, has been to receive both us and that which we bring. To provide us a place to come and lay it all down, right there before him, that which we’ve held in heart & hand over so very many months and miles. It is all fit to give this King.
Time and again, Jesus invited people to put down that which they were traveling with: shame, sorrow, stigma, stone. Whatever it is, dear one, you don’t need to travel with it any longer. That label, that lie, that lingering woe. Lay it down. Let it go. Leave a different way.
Matthew 2:11 (Voice) tells us when the wisemen arrived, “They unpacked their satchels” in the presence of Jesus. They left it all there with him.
Perhaps we can do the same: gift, grace, grief or grievance laid right out. After all, all he wants for Christmas is you ;).
Lay it Down. Let it Go. Leave a Different Way: Our Little Life-Words of the week.
- What have you carried with you over the months and miles of 2020? What gifts, grievances, graces and griefs?
- What would it feel like to present each one to Jesus and to leave them there? Do you find it hard to part with these? To not pick them up before carrying on?
- Find items symbolic of what you’ve been carrying. Place them in a satchel (backpack/suitcase). Carry them around for awhile and feel their weight. At a later time, take each item out. Lay it down. Let it go. Leave another way. Do not put it back in your satchel.
- Celebrate Three Kings Day (Wednesday) with some of these ideas.
- Our song of the week is: Back Home by JJ Heller
- Go to God and simply unpack your satchel. Lay before Him what you have been carrying all these months and miles.