The angel said to Mary, “For nothing will be impossible with God.” Luke 1:35, 37
A few years ago I decided I had to break up with Norman. No, I wasn’t dating a man named Norman; I needed to break up with Norman Rockwell. Growing up, my family worked hard to keep the traditions we all loved. However, when I became an adult I realized I had idealized dreams about how the holidays should be and when it didn’t happen as planned I would be sad. God doesn’t want us to be obsessed with traditions or sad. When I realized this, I could enjoy the holidays much more! I’m not worried about small details or traditions at Christmas so I can live in the moment and worry less about what needs to happen next.
I believe this is how God wants us to live our lives. Traditions can have special meaning but if we’re worshipping the tradition then we aren’t worshipping God. Traditions, even Christian traditions, can get in the way of living in the here and now for God and with God. Sometimes traditions must be broken so that we may go where God is calling at this moment and do what God is asking at this moment.
I’ll never forget the year when our tradition of having cinnamon buns for Christmas breakfast ended. We were all busy opening gifts when Mom realized that she had left the buns in the oven too long. That became the Christmas that Mom “burnt her buns” and it was so funny! Instead of bemoaning the fact that a Christmas tradition had been ruined that morning, we found humor in the situation and enjoyed the moment. I’m thankful that God allows any moment of our life to be a new beginning and wants us to find joy in the present. I’m thankful that God chose a non-traditional way to send a non-traditional leader to a world that was in need of him that first Christmas thousands of years ago. While this might have changed Mary and Joseph’s plans for a traditional life I’m so glad they were open and willing to be used in such a special way! The only truths that really matter are these: God loves us so much that God sent Jesus to the world, and God desires a relationship with each of us.
Prayer: Loving God, Thank you for the opportunity to continue traditions that make our hearts happy. Don’t let them become our idols or stand in the way of our relationship with you and what you would have us do as we live a life of service for you. Happy Birthday, Jesus! Amen.