Last night at the Christmas Eve candlelight service at Bare Bulb Coffee, which is also our church, my sweet pastorfriend shared two videos. Both were powerful and made us think and laugh…..and cry.
‘Tis the season, no?
In the words of Patricia Polacco’s Uncle Vova in her children’s (and all ages) book Uncle Vova’s Tree: “We remember.”
We remember the story, the story that we honor and celebrate this day each year. We remember those who have gone before, those who have taught us traditions and right and wrong and who have loved us. And loved us well.
Last night the first video was from children at St. Paul’s Anglican Church of Auckland, New Zealand and it was their way of remembering. The story they tell is old and yet very new. I hope you have time to watch this delightful and wonderful video of the story before the story. (And if you have a little more time, look for their other Christmas story videos they’ve done over the years.)
“Brilliant. They won’t be expecting that.”
That’s the theme of my life these days, I think. Things I’m not expecting. And you know what? It is kinda sorta brilliant.
The second video is of a beautiful young actress sharing Mary’s story from Mary’s own perspective. This actress is so gifted that I feel as though I really am listening to Mary. And I cry.
“If this is what God wants, then this is what I choose.”
Oh my stars. I wish I could say that with her conviction. But sometimes what we are asked, what I am asked, is so heavy and hard, I don’t know that I can even comprehend what it will take. I can come up with all kinds of excuses not to do it, though I know it is what God wants. Oh to have Mary’s faith and conviction…..
And yet she is human. She feels as all mothers likely do. I know I have these struggles. Daily. And I love her for sharing them.
“I wonder who he is…..I wonder if I’ve failed him as a mother. I wonder if he knows who he is.”
And she has her doubts. Have you ever had something happen in your life when “God comes close” and you think you will never be the same again…..and then time and distance and the trials of life move you away from it, and you have a hard time remembering? And feeling that it all was real? I have. And Mary has too.
“I want so much to believe, but sometimes it feels beyond me.”
Oh my aching heart. I know. I get it. Mary, my sister, I understand. And I shed my tears in tandem with your own. This living this life–it’s not for the faint of heart, is it?
Tonight I am thankful for our pastorfriend sharing these wonderful videos that have touched my heart and fed my soul this Christmas. I am thankful we shared these as a family, laughing over the precious angels together. And I am thankful that I found hope and encouragement in this version of Mary’s story, the honest story of a young mother who is trying to remember the magic of being close, feeling close to God. The wonder of being chosen and serving as God chooses.
And I am thankful that God loves me through it all, the good times and sad, the faithful seasons and the seasons of doubts.
Y’all know I believe in Christmas for a season, not just one day, so don’t let tomorrow send you back away from this time of being close, of magic and wonder, of a star shining bright in the darkness. Go out, love on somebody you meet. In the words of an angel, I recently met: “Those blokes could use some cheering up.” And really, couldn’t we all? Pass it on, share some cheer–my guess is it will find its way back to you.