To My Grandmothers, With Love

One of my grandmothers, whom I affectionately call Grams, used to say her goal in life was to go to heaven and take as many people with her as possible. I heard this countless times growing up, and as a girl it struck me as odd and a little gloomy. I knew it was important to tell people about Jesus, but my goals at the time focused on convincing my dad to let me get a kitten and negotiating a later bedtime at the start of fourth grade (was I not essentially an adult at this point?). I weakly grasped concepts of eternity and enduring penalties of sin. However, now that I comfortably assume the title of a young adult, I consider the goals that reach into the fringes of eternity not only the most appropriate thing, but also the only worthwhile thing to work towards. When my goal in life is to know Christ and make Him known, all else falls secondary. 

Such an ambition is a mere echo of Zechariah’s song in Luke. This man has long prayed for a child of his own, yet his heart unleashes praise for another Son who will soon enter the humility of humanity. He closes with the following: “For you will go before the Lord to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people in the forgiveness of their sins, because of the tender mercy of our God, whereby the sunrise shall visit us from on high to give light to those who sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace” (Luke 1:76-79).

Christmas Eve holds some of the most enchanting memories of my childhood. Part of me searches for the familiarity of this day each year, wanting to recreate the safety and simple goals of childhood. However, the tempest of life unsettles the most treasured traditions. Eleven months ago, my family buried my dear Grandmom on a blue-skied January morning. Two weeks ago, Grams also stepped into eternity and now sits at the feet of her greatest love. In many ways, this year has been bookended by grief. Even so, I am gently reminded that with Christ, such anguish is eclipsed by His glory. 

Perhaps this Christmas Eve more than ever before, I hold a new appreciation for celebrating the birth of our Savior. Our Mighty God stepped down from heaven and into our brokenness; Christ’s acquaintance with our grief intimately intertwines Him to our sorrows. With the assurance that we are truly not alone, we can confidently pursue our eternal goal of heaven. No other pursuit is as worthy. 

Great is our pain, but greater is our King. Merry Christmas. 

By Bethany Taylor

Bethany has been calling Immanuel Baptist her church home since 2014. A graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Nursing, she is an obstetric nurse here in Lexington.

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