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Turning Tradition On Its Head

In this Christmas season, many of us are trying to figure out what traditions we can keep and how to do Christmas without all the festivities with our families and friends. Some people have responded by going all out this year with decorations just to make up for the traditions that don’t work during a pandemic. Still others have decided to forego any tradition and won’t even put up a tree or any decorations. No matter what camp you’re in, you along with everyone else are struggling with tradition.

Think about Mary and Joseph who came from a very strict background and traditions that should not be broken. They were probably given in marriage when they were very young. It was tradition for families to arrange marriages. It was also tradition that once they were betrothed, they spent a year apart to make sure things worked out before the marriage ceremony.

Along came an angel with news that totally disrupted tradition, and Mary was put in a position where she could have been stoned. Joseph was going to quietly divorce her and go about his business until he too was visited by an angel telling him to stay married. Here are two young people who are totally out of their tradition. There was no wedding ceremony, no women get togethers to help Mary go through her pregnancy. They were alone and tradition was turned on its head.

Let’s face it. Holiday traditions now are in that same place because of a pandemic. We can choose to celebrate the birth of Jesus, the newborn King, or we can pull away in our emotions because tradition has been interrupted. Jesus deserves our praise and recognition for coming into this world just for us. Just because we can’t do what we normally do doesn’t mean we throw the baby out with the bath water.

Joseph and Mary created a new tradition and they experienced the wonder and joy of knowing the King. This is an opportunity for us to create a better tradition, with new customs. We can look the pandemic in the face and shout the glory of the Lord. Whether we are locked down or have limited mobility, none of these things should stop us from raising a Hallelujah and experiencing the gift of Jesus.

What traditions are you mourning? Place them on hold and ask the Savior to help you create new traditions that honor Him. Life changes and sometimes we have to change with it. But Jesus never changes. His promises are still good and His plans are still in play. We can joyfully celebrate our King with song. We can joyfully offer Him our gifts of love, honor and glory. That’s all that really matters. Not the baubles and the lights. Not the parties and the presents. Just us showering Him with sheer love. That’s Christmas. That's an unfailing tradition.

“So we can worship Him without a care in the world, made holy before Him as long as we live. And You, my child, ‘Prophet of the Highest’ will go ahead of the Master to prepare His ways, present the offer of salvation to His people, the forgiveness of their sins. Through the heartfelt mercies of our God, God’s Sunrise will break in upon us, shining on those in the darkness, those sitting in the shadow of death. Then showing us the way, one foot at a time, down the path of peace.” Luke 1:74-79 (MSG)



You are my God; I will exalt You and praise Your name, for in perfect faithfulness You have done wonderful things, things planned long ago. I give thanks to You, for You are good; Your love endures forever. Though this pandemic has turned my world upside down, though I feel isolated, though birthdays, anniversaries and traditions have changed, yet I will rejoice in You, I will be joyful in You, my God my Savior. My mouth is filled with Your praise, declaring Your splendor all day long. There is no one holy like You; there is no one besides You; there is no Rock like my God. You are above my traditions, my goals, my wants and desires. You have sustained me this far and I will taste victory and I will be filled to overflowing. Your joy is my strength! Amen!

Photo by fotografierende from Pexels

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