What exactly does “in a nutshell” mean? And why talk about it as we approach the Christmas season? According to a phrases resource * I found, it means – “In a few words; concisely stated.” I suggest at this busy, exciting holiday time, getting Christmas in a nutshell might be helpful. So what does that look like?
Easter Egg For You
Before today’s content, here’s a peek – an Easter egg. Later in this article are pictures of one of my tree ornaments – a favorite of my grandchildren. It just happens to be in a nutshell!
How Did We Start Saying “In A Nutshell?”
Apparently, the poem, Iliad (Homer), was so succinct, it was described as enclosed within a nutshell. *
Impossible in Homer’s day to put the Iliad into an actual nutshell using stylus on parchment, modern nanotechnology makes that possible.
In fact, some Bible versions now exist that fit inside a walnut. Some, pinhead size, are readable with a microscope. *
This well-known saying challenges people to “cut to the chase,” implying a summary of what’s most important – a “sum up.”
This style of succinct communication is helpful . . . to a point. However, the enjoyable, unique flair of each person’s style adds color and depth to a nutshell message. In a similar way, this describes Christmas in a nutshell.
Christmas In A Nutshell
A nutshell approach to Christmas helps define the central purpose, creating a boundary that aids development of a good plan for the holidays.
Then, personal flair and individualistic style can be added to make holiday time fun, meaningful, creative, and memorable. Focusing on the simple nutshell message of Christmas means worship can happen.
Here are 3 resources that help people get Christmas in a nutshell. I am providing encouraging content taken from them in this article for your holiday consideration.
- E-book – Prepare For Christmas Without Missing It.
- Audio/video-book – Prepare For Christmas Without Missing It.
- Hard-copy and e-book – Celebrate Advent: A Life Response To Emmanuel.
The reason I mention these 3 tools before we get into this article’s content is because – they have changed my life by helping me keep Christmas in a nutshell and create spaces for worship. (More about them at the end of this article.)
These tools were developed out of my own frustration associated with the holidays. One year, in all the hustle and bustle to get everything done, I pretty much missed Christmas in my heart. To my sadness and regret, it came and went – it was just gone! That was a game-changer for me and drove me to seek God for wisdom and practical application in planning future Christmases.
The Lord answered my prayers. Brief, succinct, critical defining points helped me turn things around to create cherished celebrations that focused on rest, fun, and worship. These ideas annually help me keep Christmas in a nutshell.
What do you do with so many Christmas options? That’s almost as bad as no options at all. With prayer and thought, a pen and notepad – or your device – you can do 5 things to prevent the hijacking elements of Christmas.
- Identify problems associated with Christmas so they can be addressed.
- Develop a flexible plan to keep the season fresh and focused.
- Clearly define action steps to address the hectic pace and responsibilities associated with Christmas.
- Set reasonable expectations and appropriate boundaries to enjoy the holiday.
- Prepare your heart for a meaningful, memorable, worshipful time.
Following is an excerpt from Prepare For Christmas Without Missing It. This portion does not include the practical ideas or action steps of a plan you develop. Instead, it’s the nutshell portion – succinctly defining the meaning of Christmas to leave space for worship.
Who Is Jesus?
Jesus is a very unique and awesome King. He is extremely intelligent. Creative beyond imagination. Wise and alert. Kind and good. Strong and courageous. Loving and merciful. Unafraid of anything. Very much in charge.
Yet, His Kingdom is not of this world. How He carries out Kingdom policy is inside-out and upside-down to the world.
- Jesus was born in a barn.
- First cradle – a feed trough.
- His first Christmas baby outfit – strips of spare soft cloth.
- The first lullaby – lowing cattle and baa-ing sheep.
- And His first breath of air – filled with the smell of animals.
WHAT KING IS BORN LIKE THAT?!
Jesus walked everywhere in sandals with fishermen. His ride was a stinky fishing boat, and His pulpit was that same boat. His food was often fish. Jesus’ stories were packed with hidden meanings and trimmed with delightful word pictures. His miracles were amazing – often multiplying fish (fish, fish, and MORE FISH).
Jesus didn’t have a company and wasn’t the president of anything. His countenance was joy. He didn’t have stock or shares in anything except an invisible, unmeasurable, unmatched government.
WHO LEADS LIKE THAT?!
How Did Jesus Live?
Jesus laughed and cried publicly. He never minced words, deceived, or made empty promises. Every political
statement He made was so discerning – no one knew how to reply. He earned respect, gained popularity, was deeply hated, was deeply loved. He overturned the money tables of the wealthy and gave all He had to the poor.
Even though He was King of the Universe, He paid taxes! (To not offend earthly rulers of earthly governments.)
WHO LIVES LIKE THAT?!
He had no real estate, house, or land. Jesus was falsely accused and remained silent. He was traded for a
renowned criminal. Jesus got death. The criminal was set free. He was sold for the price of a slave. Jesus, the Messiah, died a bloody, torturous death. On the cross, He forgave every person who has lived. The Son willingly took on loneliness of separation from His Father (Who turned His back on Jesus as He died) so you and I would never have to be separated from God!
His purpose was to be Emmanuel forever: “God With Us.”
WHO SUFFERS LIKE THAT?!
The Greatest Person and Most Effective Servant
Jesus rose from the grave, not through the tomb entrance, but through many feet of solid ROCK! He was gone before the stone was rolled away. He appeared and disappeared in a new human body – a seed of what He promises to anyone who trusts Him for eternal life.
His servant Lordship was displayed through actions like cooking breakfast on the beach for His hungry disciples who had fished all night.
WHO ATTAINS BEING THE GREATEST PERSON AND POSITION POSSIBLE, YET SERVES LIKE THIS?!
He invites you back into the royal position He created you for. Jesus chose to be called Emmanuel: “God With Us – God With You.” He is for you!
Companionship instead of loneliness. Comfort in your sorrows. The governing of your life on His shoulders. This is Jesus.
You can connect with Jesus during busy December using Celebrate Advent: A Life Response To Emmanuel. The content focuses on Jesus in a manner that helps you want to know Him more.
A.W. Tozer was right. “God is so vastly wonderful, so utterly and completely delightful, that He can without anything other than Himself meet and overflow the deepest demands of our total nature, mysterious and deep as that nature is.” (p. 40, The Pursuit of God)
This is Jesus who became a baby. Emmanuel who gave His life for you and forgives your sins. He shares His life with you by living inside you when you trust Him for salvation. And He gives you an incredible future that never ends.
WONDERFUL AND MARVELOUS . . .
JESUS, THE BABY IN A MANGER . . .
THIS IS CHRISTMAS!
Application Thoughts And Questions
- Why not order Prepare For Christmas Without Missing It? The above excerpt comes from this resource, along with excellent steps to develop a practical plan to manage – and not miss – Christmas. It’s available as both e-book and audio/video-book. These resources compliment one another and can be purchased together or separately. The audio/video-book has beautiful Christmas background music as you learn. The e-book has attractive festive pictures throughout. Both contain topics like:
- Key Points Checklist – a tool to help you get all the important things done.
- A Christmas Decision Grid – a tool that helps you make difficult decisions.
- Practical tips, ideas, and action steps.
- Avoiding going in debt.
- Difficult people you must connect with.
- Living up to expectations put on you.
- Depression and sadness in the holidays.
- Preparing your heart to worship
2. You can still order your copy of Celebrate Advent: A Life Response To Emmanuel to use for your brief Bible Study during busy December. It’s our most popular resource with a succinct devotional each day of the month. In other words, it’s Christmas in a nutshell.
* CREDIT: https://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/in-a-nutshell.html