Tuesday, December 18, 2007

christmas traditions

Sorry that I did not have a post for today. I was busy having fun at my sister's expense. She "didn't realize" that she couldn't park a foot away from a fire hydrant and got my grandma's car towed in Chicago. Now, that proved to be one extremely entertaining evening. (And, for once, it wasn't me making the dumb mistake and having everyone laugh.)

Anyway...

My parents and sisters are heading to Florida this Saturday to spend a week in Orlando. That is probably the closest thing to tradition that my family has regarding the Christmas season. (We spent over half of my childhood X-mases in Florida.) We, sometimes with great joy, have no great attachment to the actual day or week leading up to the 25th.

In recent years (since I first left for college) we have started a few traditions. We drive over to Pulaski (pronounced Pu-lass-kee) in Pulaski (pronounced Pu-lass-kigh) county and look at the town entirely covered in Christmas lights. That's right. The entire town is decorated. It is pretty sweet.

We also go to the Chinese restaurant in town on Christmas Eve (we had to after I convinced my Dad it was that he had to watch "A Christmas Story") and then head over to the Baptist Church (where I now work) for the evening service.

I suppose those are traditions, but they are only recent traditions. Each is probably 5 years old or so.

But even though these are recent things, they are still very ingrained in us to do them. It is strange to me how traditions start and continue on and I wonder at their persistence at times.

I also wish for more tradition...sometimes. Traditions can ground us and make us feel firm, but they can also make us stoic and unchanging.

The same is true of our Christian faith. We all have traditions (old and new) and the Church itself has traditions (old and new). It is up to us to determine the worth of those and to either continue them or let them dissolve. It is often a difficult and trying process to cut out the antiquated or unBiblical traditions, but at times it is very necessary.

And our family must do the same with our traditions. If ever the Chinese joint should close or move out, and another move in, I doubt that we'd go there. We would be too attached to the old restaurant, the people and the food.

What then happens when we toss out a Christian tradition? Do we attempt to replace it or simply keep the void?

I'll let you think for a day and then tell you what I think...

-joe

1 comment:

Nigel said...

“Any tradition that doesn’t evolve becomes smaller.” -Yo-Yo Ma