Isn’t it fun to think back on your life and try to remember snapshots of your past?
Many times the older we get we can’t recall all the details of a memory, but we can reminisce on the little tidbits we do remember.
One of my favorite memories is when my daddy carried me to Church. I don’t recall exactly how old I was but it was so special because just he and I went on that particular morning. I think my mom wasn’t feeling well and for some reason my little brother didn’t go either. This just confirms how important dad’s are in the life’s of their daughters.
I felt special.
Another wonderful childhood memory is when we all gathered around the dining room table as a family to celebrate “Advent” with an Advent Wreath and candles. Mom would always read scripture or a devotion out of a book that she kept nearby. My parents weren’t very spiritual or religious but they did make a point to celebrate Advent as a family. It felt special.
As we begin our December series called “Simply Christmas, “Towns to Traditions” I want to encourage you to reflect on what traditions are, why we have them, and the reasons we insist on carrying them out.
Tradition is defined as:
1: an inherited, established, or customary pattern of thought, action, or behavior (as a religious practice or a social custom
2: the handing down of information, beliefs, and customs by word of mouth or by example from one generation to another without written instruction
3:cultural continuity in social attitudes, customs, and institutions
4:characteristic manner, method, or style <in the best liberal tradition>
My mother’s birthday was December 24th and during her life, we didn’t only celebrate Christmas Eve on that day; we celebrated her birthday as well. My daddy always tried to make it special for her. He would cook a wonderful dinner of Filet Mignon and Lobster. To top it off we would surprise her with a birthday cake. In my opinion it doesn’t get much better than that. This was a family tradition. She was special.
Many people and their families have traditions that they do year after year. Have I jogged your memory as to some of yours?
I was raised in the Methodist denomination. There were readings that the congregation would do every Sunday. I remember repeating “The Lord’s Prayer” and “The Apostle Creed” aloud every service. While writing this post I remembered that even though I am no longer attending the Methodist Church, the tradition of reading creeds aloud is a fond memory. I share this in hopes of giving you a better understanding of what I mean.
THE APOSTLES’ CREED, TRADITIONAL VERSION
I believe in God the Father Almighty,
Maker of heaven and earth;
And in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord:
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, dead, and buried;*
the third day he rose from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic** church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.
*Traditional use of this creed includes these words: “He descended into hell.”
United Methodist Hymnal – The Apostles’ Creed
I wish I could say I lived my life for the Lord as a child, but I didn’t. We attended church on Easter, Christmas and a few times in between. I do believe the words of the “The Apostles Creed” but while repeating them when I was younger – they were just words and never moved from my head and mouth to my heart.
When I became pregnant with my oldest daughter I started attending Church more and after my second child was born we moved Churches. That is when I heard the message of forgiveness and salvation and turned my life over to Christ. Church is special.
Since the time I became a mother I have strived to raise my children in Church and teach them how to live for Christ. I can’t say we held onto any of my childhood traditions over the years. But as I have discovered over time, life changes and so do traditions. It’s okay. Even if your tradition is only for a season you will never know the impact it has on your family. My parents don’t know the impact they made on me and now I can’t tell them; they‘re in heaven. My parents were special.
The past is special.
What tradition is special to you? Can you share it in our comments today?
To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.
Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ. Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.
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