Memories Not Yet Made
Those of us who are parents and grandparents want nothing more for our kids than the best we had growing up, and if possible, even more. Since I arrived at Saint Nicholas, I have heard dozens of stories – and that’s no exaggeration–of parents and grandparents who are sad that their children and grandchildren don’t have the church as the central aspect of their life as they did and still do. While we all want to give the best educational and material well-being to our children and grandchildren, nothing is more important to us than giving them the faith that we find is the basis of our lives. I realize that there is only so much we can do to stem the tide that is pulling our children and those in the coming generations away from faith, the good news is there is more we can do.
One of our best opportunities for passing on the Faith is coming up beginning tomorrow and continuing through the weekend. Perhaps like no other time in the year among both the faithful and secular, the Christmas season is a time for memories. We make them, we remember them, and sometimes we mourn over them. But no matter the emotion, we remember. Stop for a moment to reflect and a lifetime of Christmas memories will run through your mind and your heart. The coming celebration of Christmas is not yet in the realm of memory. In the next few days, whatever happens will thereafter enter that realm of memory, which is why the way we celebrate these days is so crucial. And the question before us is very simple: will our children and grandchildren remember this Christmas as a celebration of faith and family or just simply family. Will this be an occasion where faith – and the God in whom we have faith – is an integral part of our celebration?
Let’s be kind to ourselves and acknowledge that there are so many wonderful things we have in store for our families this Christmas. The dinners, special Christmas desserts, the decorations and gifts will all make wonderful memories. But let’s also think forward to our children and grandchildren, soon to be the parents and grandparents of tomorrow, and ask ourselves if the choices that we make THIS Christmas provide memories which include memories of faith.
With our dedication and participation in the church services of Christmas, they will have memories of a candlelit church, of the sweet smell of incense, of beautiful truth being sung like the song of Angels. They will remember the wonder, the hope, and the love which only come when we take our place among the angels and shepherds, and are able to peer into the manger and view the One who restores all things. They will remember the taste of Holy Communion, new and eternal life given not just for the world in general, but given to them.
Our website has the listing and description of the services in celebration of the New Born King (http://stnicholasgr.com/christmas-at-st-nicholas/). Whatever memories we have or haven’t given them in the past, the memories of this Christmas are yet to be made. Let’s make those memories beautiful, warm, but also eternal and infinitely significant. Let’s give our children and grandchildren memories of God to carry with them forever.