Family Tree

So, as I have posted before, our church put on a Christmas program.  We selected God’s family as the theme.  We entitled it “Family Tree”.  Jesus’ natural family was so messed up.  He had an earthly stepfather and no physical father .  But wait, there’s more!  In his background, he had Gentiles, a harlot, generations of deceivers, and on and on.  I wrote up monologues those Biblical characters expressed in the program.  We interspersed them with Christmas carols in mostly fresh arrangements.  The kids sang and danced.  They, of course, brought the house down!

It truly became a collaborative effort.  My fabulous monologuers figured out clever ways to help themselves with their lines, the goal being complete memorization.   I worked with them one-on-one.  They did the rest, wrestling with their individual parts.  They got inside the heads of the characters:  Joseph (Mary’s husband), Jacob, Rahab, Ruth, a wiseman, two shepherds and Saul who became Paul. The family of God eventually became so much more than Jesus’ natural family.  The Bible states everyone who accepts Christ gets grafted in (Romans 11:17).

I drove in my car, listening  to the CD in order to practice the song portion. I found myself tearing up.  It hit me anew – over and over again –  how Jesus interrupted the continuum of human life in order to help us.  “Here I am!  See?  Peace, now.  I’m making it right.  Don’t cry.”

I will confess I woke up at 3:40 Saturday morning, the day of the first performance.  I wondered, Will this fly? A host of details needed to come together, to coagulate.  I knew I had to surrender it and let it soar on its own.  I could do no more.

By God’s grace and the best efforts of instrumentalists, singers, actors, A/V experts and kid wranglers, it did.  He breathed on it and gave it life.

And so it goes.  Exhilarating, exhausting, thrilling, tedious.  Yes, all of those.  But extremely wonderful.  Our little church contains a bunch of talented folks, as a good friend of mine pointed out.  What a privilege to work alongside them to birth a vision of hope, even for a short time.  On this Christmas Eve, I find myself grateful again to be part of God’s family.

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