Real Help for Real Living: I have a leg lamp in my office

Anthony MarcianoMany Christmas’ ago, my kids gave me a leg lamp.  It’s the famous leg lamp from the movie, “A Christmas Story.”  That’s the movie where Ralphie wants a Red Ryder BB gun, but everyone tells him no; he’ll shoot his right eye out.  And who can forget that famous scene where he wears the bunny pajamas his aunt sent him.  I proudly keep that lamp in my office.

I don’t have the huge leg lamp like the one in the movie; I have a smaller one that is 18 inches tall.  My leg lamp has a two-way switch on it.  If you turn it one click, it lights up the shade.  When you turn it two clicks, not only does the lamp shade light up, it also lights up the thigh.  Now let me tie this into the Christmas story.

Christmas is that time of year when I use the word, “Immanuel” to refer to God with us.  That God would leave the purity of Heaven to join this world in the person of Jesus Christ and walk amongst us.  He would experience all that we experience on this planet – heartache, loss, losing a loved one to death, being misunderstood, being abandoned by friends in your most important moment, etc.  God loves us and demonstrated that love by being Immanuel – God with us.  Not only does He join us on this journey called life, he understands our heartache because He also experienced it as well.  Immanuel is similar to turning the light switch one click and lighting the lamp shade.  In a sense, we do that when we decorate our house with lights. We are saying that the light of the world has come into our lives.

A few weeks ago, I was challenged by a men’s bible class to bring a Christmas message. I brought my leg lamp to their class and sat it on the podium.  I talked about Immanuel and turned the light switch one click.   What was stirring in my heart prior to that class was there was one more turn on the lamp. If I had only turned it one click, I would see the lamp shade being lit.   When I turned it one more click, not only did the lamp shade remain lit, the thigh lit up.  That’s when it hit me.  It wasn’t enough to celebrate that the Christ child had come into our world as the light of the world.  We had to take it one step further.

Christ didn’t just want to enter our world, he wanted to enter our “thigh” or our entire being.  It is when that happens that we are transformed from the inside out.  When our heart has been changed, we can then transform the world around us.

Chip Ingram, in his book, “God As He Longs for You to See Him” states “…as a person who allows God’s grace to transform him or her from the inside can just relax and be loved.  When we really believe that we are loved and accepted, we no longer have to be the best, to compare ourselves to others, to strive to make a good impression, to compete for attention, or to run around looking for love in all the wrong places.  And if you think about it, those games we play are the source of the vast majority of our anxieties.”

You are welcome to stop by my office and turn the switch on my leg lamp.  Just be sure to turn it twice so that the thigh lights up.  I pray that same light lights up your life this Christmas.