What’s your favorite tradition?
Traditions are the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation, or the fact of something being passed on in a certain way. Nearly every family has traditions. What traditions did you have as a family growing up? Family traditions may relate to holidays, but they can also be associated with special days. Did you make a particular dish during Christmas or for a birthday celebration? Making cards for your mom on Mother’s Day? Did you stand on a chair and help your Gramma bake cookies or pies and now you share that experience with your child, loved one or friend? Is there a certain shirt you wear to cheer on your favorite team? Say a particular prayer at dinner or bedtime? Fourth of July parades, parties, BBQ or fireworks. Your own family board or card game night?
We all have different reactions to traditions: some people are all in and some people roll their eyes. The traditions that get under my skin are the ones we do just because that’s the way we’ve always done them. They might have had meaning at one point, but now we’re just going through the motions.
Which makes traditions tricky, because traditions are habits. I have a blended family, which means we’ve combined some traditions and made new ones. We have new traditions and old family traditions, and we’re trying to figure out how to combine them all to make them our own. As it goes on for years, it is really cool when those traditions become a habit, when they begin to create meaning and we begin to look forward to it. Learning how it marks us as a family; watching it move from generation to generation. Traditions don’t just happen overnight or just once, they take time, to become meaningful and special.
We have traditions as God’s people too.
Traditions, love them or leave them, make up who we are. Our habits shape us into what we are. Family blends and bonds have made a mark on us and who we have become today. It marks the people we are.
Let’s going to explore some habits of the young church. Let’s listen to how these habits made them a spiritual family, and consider how they can mark out traditions that shape us as the church we have become today.