Traditions are hard to give up. Especially around Christmas. My family has always had several treasured traditions, from going to my grandparents’ houses in North Carolina, to gathering after Christmas for London broil and all the trimmings. Then we would all gather in the morning and open presents. Mom and Dad didn’t want gifts, so we would put envelopes on the tree of gifts we had given to charities, Lottie Moon Christmas Offering, needy families, in honor of my parents. My mom was a master shopper, though. My brother, sister and I would lay out our stockings (yes, even as adults) knowing that my mom would give us way too many gifts. As we grew older, got married, and started our own families, we loved watching our kids as my Dad would tell the Christmas story and the kids would play with the Nativity scene under the tree. Then they would TEAR into the presents. It was such a great time… and now only a memory.
Traditions are treasured because they are based on memories, and usually good memories. But, one thing about traditions… eventually they all change. No matter how hard we try to keep them going, no matter how hard we fight to keep them the same… eventually memories fade, and traditions change. This year, we will start new traditions as a family… make new memories. I’m sure some things will stay the same… we’ll eat London broil, we’ll put envelopes on the tree, this time in memory of Mom and Dad, we’ll open presents. But this year, things will change. They won’t be the same… ever again. And that stings… a lot.
As believers in Christ, we are created to be people who REMEMBER… every time we sing, every time we read Scripture, every time we take Communion… we are meant to remember what Jesus has done for us. But, as believers in Christ, we are not meant to ONLY remember. We are also created to LOOK FORWARD and keep moving. Because the same Jesus who died, also rose again, and also ascended to the Father. And HE IS COMING AGAIN!!! That gives us all something so much greater to look forward to… something to CELEBRATE!
Are you struggling with changing traditions? Are you wishing things could just “go back” to the way they used to be? Are you lonely? Are you missing someone this Christmas season?
This Christmas and coming year, join me as we LOOK FORWARD to the promises of Jesus being fulfilled… because in looking forward we can always celebrate that…
THE BEST IS YET TO COME!!!