December 7, 2010: Tradition
Traditions, traditions. Without our traditions, our lives would be as shaky as… as… as a fiddler on the roof! — Tevye, Fiddler on the Roof
Where would we be without our traditions? Especially at this time of year. In the Lewis family (Kathy’s side), you don’t open presents until after breakfast on Christmas morning. In my family, it’s become a tradition that the first one up starts the coffee (Christmas or otherwise). I like to be the first one awake on Christmas morning and to turn on the lights on the tree, enjoying that quiet moment before the day’s madness descends upon the house.
Traditions are a gift given to us. Traditions are a gift we give ourselves. Traditions are a gift we give to others. We accept the traditions of our parents and communities. We build our own traditions and we create traditions for those who follow after us. There are many good things about traditions but Jesus Himself butted heads with the Pharisees over traditions that stood in the way of serving God and man. Tradition is good when it connects us to our past and to who we are but can become an obstacle when its meaning is lost in legalism or used to keep us captive to an antiquated idea (which is sometimes what we who have married into the Lewis clan think about the Christmas morning tradition but that’s beside the point).
What are your traditions? Who created them? Why do they exist?
Father, we stand swaying like fiddlers on the roof – our foothold on life is rather precarious at times and tradition seems a good enough anchor. Help us to see our traditions in light of how You see us and our lives. Help to honor those which nurture us and to create new ones to honor and nurture others. In the Name of Christ Jesus. Amen.