Christmastime is as much a retelling of past memories as it is an annual memory-in-the-making opportunity. I must have been in third or fourth grade when both the original Christmas and my own collided, leaving me these many years later to still marvel at the work of the Lord in my family.
My elementary school had begun planning for a Christmas Holiday pageant. The role I was given was to orate the Christmas story from Luke 2 ala Linus in the “Charlie Brown Christmas” story. Back then, Judeo-Christian themes easily mixed as both cultures held each other’s traditions in kind respect.
The whole idea of the “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus…” soliloquy was actually my mother’s, and she spent the weeks leading up to the pageant helping me memorize and shape those precious Luke 2 verses.
I remember all the details from that night: The very bright fluorescent lights of the cafeteria turned theater; whole grades noisily climbing onto risers to sing “Go Tell It On The Mountain” and “Dreidel Dreidel”; and the unwieldy mic that I would hold to read from a heavy, blue family Bible. It was a wonderful night: a chance to dress up and perform and eat cookies afterwards. All really wonderful memories for a young school girl.
But mostly, I remember my mother, and how holy she approached that pageant assignment.
Now decades after both elementary school and having my mother on this earth, I hold that Christmas memory very dear. My mother – whether motivated as an evangelist or as a parent – seemed to understand the magnitude of the moment and was compelled by the Lord and perhaps also by Isaiah 55:11: “so is My Word that goes out from My mouth: It will not return to Me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” What I did not comprehend then but now do, is that God never wastes a moment. He orchestrates all detail on heaven and earth to represent His saving grace before mankind. He can and will use anybody at any time to show His love. He used my mother in that moment. And He used me. But mostly, He just showed up that night in His amazing word to a mixed crowd of people who all desperately needed Him.
Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.