THIS SERIES:DREAMING OF THE PERFECT CHRISTMAS?
This year, four members of the family, and our tiny grandson, will be absent from our Christmas dinner; we will see some in the days before, and all of them afterwards, but I was taken aback at the strong reaction I had to the change in circumstance: Christmas dinner had always been a family affair, with Mum presiding!
A momentary bit of foolishness, that’s all – soon released to the Lord, and rest restored. But how many people live with discontent and distress because the breaking of a tradition has thrown them into crisis? How many live with disproportional stress because family members have different priorities, work patterns interfere with long held practices, or they can’t get hold of that vital ingredient……?
How many are unable to celebrate, unable to enjoy what they have, because of what is missing?
Jesus warned about putting traditions first:
in order to observe your own traditions! '
or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day.
These are a shadow of the things that were to come;
the reality, however, is found in Christ.
Emmanuel is the reason for the season; God with us. His presence is what changes things, and is worth laying down any tradition for. Better bread and soup in His presence, than a feast with all the trimmings in an atmosphere of discontent. So yes I love traditions – I've just written a book about a favorite one – but I want to hold them – and my list of things to do before Christmas - lightly; and seek the one thing we really can't do without, the presence of Jesus.
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