Column: Faith Foundation

Burn the tree, do fish instead, but keep the eggnog

“My tradition is better than your tradition, and frankly if you don’t have a tradition, then you should leave the country.” Do weever stop and listen to ourselves before we speak? This country is full of traditions of all sorts that are completely weird, butimportant to each of us. A new tradition is to prepare a turducken, a chicken inserted into a duck inserted into a turkey. Ihaven’t had one yet but will accept any and all invitations.

My family always had a string around the living room full of cards, and we found our tree by searching at a tree farm andcutting it down ourselves after attending the party my Dad’s work sponsored complete with gifts. The entire family, sevenkids, along with spouses and grandchildren gathered Christmas day, opened gifts and then had breakfast, followed by a nap,then turkey and another nap. We thought people who opened gifts on Christmas Eve were somehow not as disciplined andchose not to like those people. Church was never even considered, after all what does Christmas have to do with church?

I have since investigated and found Jesus Christ to be God himself. I have received the greatest Christmas present ever inJesus Christ. But I’ve heard many suggest that the actual day Christ was born was not December 25, that the tree is a part ofpagan worship and gifts just reflect consumerism. Many would have us throw out the baby with the bath water and abolishChristmas. There is presently a movement that suggests we boycott Starbucks because they say happy holidays rather thanMerry Christmas. Really?! If that really bothers you, tell them Merry Christmas when they ask you your name and when yourcoffee is ready, ha ha.

I think we have failed to keep our eye on the ball and if not careful will have the ball fly up and smack us in the face.Christmas is about the incarnation of God Himself! Jesus Christ emptied himself or made himself nothing, according toPhilippians 2:7. God set aside his glory to become a man, was born miraculously of a virgin so as to be the perfect sinlesssacrifice for our sin. That is the message of Christmas and the greatest gift we could ever receive, anything else is just ourown traditions that we have as individuals and families. Traditions help people feel secure, leave them alone. But in thattradition, hang on for all you are worth to the fact that Jesus Christ came to save this world from sin. Whether that happenedon December 25 or not, I simply do not care.

 

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