Wake Up Call

ctm-candy-canesTime to dust off those Christmas holiday traditions. The cookies for Santa have to be placed on a certain plate reserved only for that. Rewind the “It’s a Wonderful Life” video for the traditional showing at 9PM on Christmas Eve. Get out the recipe for the English Trifle made only on Christmas day.

My daughter Jessica has a polar bear ornament that she received when she was three months old at her first Christmas. For her, that ornament must be placed on the tree first every year and everything else goes up after it.

Traditions become traditions because they fill a spot inside of us. They make us feel comfortable and stable. We like to know there are wonderful things that happen year after year that we can rely upon not to change. I’m all for keeping up those traditions that enhance our life with meaning and stability.

On the other side, I see how some traditions become mindless ruts. That’s what often happens in churches. What started out with meaning has become dry and brittle and old and the only thing left is a taboo NOT TO CHANGE THEM. The minute we are just going through the motions is the minute a tradition needs to be eliminated — cut off without mercy.

Our relationship with God should always be fresh and real. The way a church presents God should support that and should help guard us from worshipping traditions instead of him.

Yes, dust off your Christmas traditions. On the other hand, if you have any church traditions that don’t draw you closer to God – those can be tossed in the dust bin.



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