We are quickly approaching Thanksgiving and then you know what will rapidly occur after that! No doubt I am proclaiming the obvious. Traditions play a huge part in major holidays. There are favorite foods to prepare, there may be movies to watch, and some brave souls will join the crowds on Black Friday.
Throughout the years traditions have changed in my house. When my daughter was nine years old, we discovered that she was allergic to turkey. As we talked about the upcoming Thanksgiving meal it was revealed that nobody really liked turkey. The way was opened to prepare all kinds of foods. A few years back when my Mother moved into a nursing home, feasts had to be portable. The experience has actually been freeing. The main tradition in my family is to prepare delicious foods, set a pretty table, and linger around the table. Sometimes we have debated politics, remembered amusing stories, and other shenanigans.
In the passage from Luke 6:6-10 the Pharisees tried to trip up Jesus. They wanted to prove that Jesus was not faithful to the law. What was exposed was some traditions or laws were good and other traditions were not so good. Jesus also showed them that compassion and care for the neighbor was far more important than tradition. Jesus gave new life to the man he healed.
So, I ask; what are your family traditions?
Recently I had some down time in which I got to watch TV. Wow, the Christmas push is on. The retailers are already telling us what we have to have in order to be generous gift givers, successful, or prepared for the holidays. All these distractions as well as the activities, parties, and ugly Christmas sweaters can be overwhelming.
What are the distractions for you? What would you like to step away from this holiday season? What would be the most life-giving changes that could be made in your celebrations? Jesus verified, nothing is set in stone.
Jesus comes along to give new life. Jesus gives us permission to step away from things that don’t draw us into a closer relationship with him. When those changes come-there can be pushback, but more often than not, others discover they don’t enjoy the hard and fast traditions like a turkey meal either.
As we move forward into this most holy time of year, I offer you good news and freedom in Christ our Lord. Find those traditions that give life. Share compassion as Christ shared. May you and yours be drawn into the holy mystery of Advent waiting.