Traditions. Every era and people has them, so it might seem that they are uniquely a product of human culture. But, did you know that many biblical traditions are actually God’s idea? God commanded the ancient Israelites to develop and keep certain traditions, many of which centered around a feast.
Here are a few examples:
for seven days you must eat bread made without yeast. Leviticus 23:7
hold a sacred assembly and do no regular work.Leviticus 23:8
bring to the priest a sheaf of the first grain you harvest. Leviticus 23:10
a sacred assembly commemorated with trumpet blasts. Lev 23:24
On the first day you are to take branches from luxuriant trees—from palms, willows and other leafy trees—and rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days. Lev. 23:40
God wanted them to observe these celebrations every single year so that they would become deeply ingrained in the hearts and lives of the people, “a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live.” (Lev 23:14)
These feasts and festivals did at least three things for God’s people (and you can tell that they are spiritual because they all begin with “R.”) The feasts helped . . .
His people to Remember what he had done,
His people Renew their commitment to Him and to each other,
and Give His people Rhythm.
With this in mind, at the Adult Forum this morning we shared ideas together about what kinds of Christmas traditions have helped us connect with God.
Baking a birthday cake for Jesus (Ben Call and Ruth Peterson)
Reading of the Nativity story by the youngest reader (Neill Waker)
Use the wiseman’s three gifts as an outline for family gift giving. We give our kids three gifts White/Myrrh (something to help them grow closer to God), Green/Frankincense (Something to wear/ for their body) and Gold (Something they really desire). (Kate Cooper)
Attend midnight mass (Don Blanchat, Vince Rocco and Joe Vajgrt)
Write Christmas cards to friends as a way to reconnect
White stocking: Hang a white stocking for Jesus. On Christmas Eve each family member writes down a particular spiritual discipline or a specific area of growth and then places the paper in the stocking as a gift to Jesus.
Christmas time was the one time of year we could get Potato Sausage at the grocery store, making it extra special. (Mark Ahlseen)
Having a fish meal on Christmas Eve (Viince Rocco)
Going and picking a tree from the pasture to decorate (Shelly Carlson)
Nightly advent reading (Shelly Carlson)
What ways do you use to Remember, Renew and create Rhythm during this season?