Tuesday, December 09, 2008

children make the season more fun...

I am a fan of traditions. I like them around the holidays, especially.

One of my daughters called me recently to ask what type of Christmas tree we always had back in Indiana. She was at a tree farm, and wanted to cut down the same kind we had.

Unfortunately, that type of tree does not grow where she lives. She had to get something else.

It was a good feeling though to know that it was appealing to her, that in her younger days, we always had a live tree, and usually the same kind. It held it's fragrance the best, and we loved to smell it when we came into the house.

We had other traditions as well. Whitney would read, "Twas the Night Before Christmas," and then I would read the real Christmas story from Luke 2. After we had both read, we would open gifts.

Lauren has truly captured the joy of decorating at Christmas. She does a good job. When I grew up, my house always looked amazing. My mom decorated more than most. I loved it! Lauren carries that same attitude in her heart, and I love to see what she does.

Many people put up theme trees at Christmas. Not us. Our family laughs at some of our tree decorations. There is no pretense on our evergreen. Since Deanna and I got married, we have been collecting ornaments and they get hung each year. We are fond of the ones we have with either pictures our children or ones they made. Its quite and eclectic mix, but it is beautiful to us!

Some traditions are good!

When my father passed away in 1994, my extended family started a new tradition of all gathering at my brother's camp for Christmas. We have followed that for the last 13 years, and only missed out a time or two of having everyone there.

This year, we will not be together. With us in Tulsa and Whitney and Jared in Texas, coordinating schedules has become a bit more difficult.

The family that normally comes together, will mostly be in Virginia Beach at my sisters' home. My immediate family will celebrate the birth of our Savior together in Texas. We are excited to be able to be together.

Traditions have their place, but they are not rules. We do not HAVE to follow them. We like to follow them, especially holiday ones, but they are not requirements.

We as believers, have embraced many traditions in our churches. While most are found nowhere in Scripture, people get upset if they are not observed. We cling to things that are comfortable, things that we like. When someone makes a change, we tend to resent that person or group of people.

I do think it is necessary for us to look at some of our traditions to see why we partake. When churches split over whether or not we follow them, something is wrong.
There is a model in the Bible for how our church should function. Why is it then, that when we collectively choose to follow rhythms within the body that are not found in the Word, people adhere to them as if they were orchestrated by Christ?

We each need to be a little more selfless when it comes to this season, and to these traditions. The worship of Christ as King of kings and Lord of lords it what it is all about. When we make it about anything else, we err.

Come, let us exalt Him together!!!



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