There are times when our imaginations for the future are fueled by our memories of good things in the past. God continually challenged God's people to remember in order to stay focused on the future. Especially when our current context feels overwhelming, as it has lately for so many, it is good to remember.
So, we share a few of our Christmas memories so that we can know that God was good and is good still. We share these memories and we pray that your spirit is refreshed this season. Times to fight again are coming. But relax for now and know that God is Emmanuel.
Leah: My favorite Christmas memory is Christmas Eve, when we would arrive at my grandparents house or they would arrive at our house. As soon as the presents were unloaded, we would start to discuss when to open them since there were no small children present. We would always decide Christmas Day. This conversation would continue over dinner. After Church we would inevitably decide to JUST open the stockings or ONE gift - of course, we ended opening all of them. We have a small family so only one person gets a gift at a time delivered by another family member wearing a Santa hat saying "ho, ho, ho." This allowed all of us to see what everyone got and their reaction to it
Kenya: I think my favorite Christmas memory is actively happening. My cousins who never come home except for deaths or illnesses are coming home. My cousin is queer and has never been home for the holidays. She feels safe enough to come home now. We have worked really hard to get to this point. And I am grateful. We have been counting down all month.
Lee: It’s hard to name my favorite Christmas memory! I have so many. One is my extended family’s tradition of gathering for food and presents on or around Christmas, every year for the past half-century. I’m nearly the youngest cousin, so I learned much watching the rest of these family members grow up. So much laughter, games, delicious food and great memories through all these years. This year we gather on Friday evening to keep these bonds alive.
Will: One of my favorite memories of Christmas Day is an evening spent in a Virginia prison. Despite the joy it should bring, Christmas Day in prison is filled with tears. So, for this particular Christmas Day, some men in the church wrote and performed a Christmas pageant in the style of Monty Python (indeed, I suspect many of the jokes were stolen directly from Monty Python films). Imagine, if you can, an all-male ensemble in prison blues reenacting the Nativity! Many men still cried but not without the interruption of laughter through their tears. That Christmas Day, I had a front-row seat to the miracle of Christmas.
Bill: One Christmas when I was 7 or 8 my family traveled to see my grandfather in Franklin, TN for Christmas. I loved road trips and this was extra special as it snowed the entire time - not enough to be dangerous, but enough to be fun. I loved my grandfather so much; he was always funny and was so excited to see us. The same afternoon we arrived we traveled to the country to chop down our Christmas tree, something I had never done before. We brought it home, and while it started to snow again, we decorated it and ate Christmas cookies while we watched the Cowboys play the Rams. I can't remember what I got as gifts that year, but the excitement of going to my grandfather's house, and decorating the tree, and watching it snow was such pure joy.
Merry Christmas from all of us at Fig Tree Revolution!