Gospel Centered Family

Helping families and churches share Jesus with the next generation.

Making Traditions Matter

Jeff HutchingsComment
The LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Speak to the people of Israel and say to them, These are the appointed feasts of the LORD that you shall proclaim as holy convocations; they are my appointed feasts." Leviticus 23:1-2

Do you ever wonder in the midst of the holiday season if the busyness and hectic pace we keep is good for our family?

Tis the season to be busy. From Thanksgiving until after the New Year it’s a whirlwind of food, tinsel and music. We have a laundry list of things to accomplish. Gifts to purchase, Christmas parties to attend, meals to prepare, and malls to navigate. All the to do’s cause a person to  ask, is it worth it? This is a great question. Why do we make the holidays so busy? Why and what are we are celebrating in the first place? Have the celebrations we partake in been reduced to Americanized cultural traditions?

Proof in point: It is more common to hear happy holidays now than Merry Christmas. Thanksgiving is about watching football and how much food we eat. Christmas is about giving the best and most expensive gifts, and New Year’s Eve…. well, this is a family blog so I won’t talk about how most celebrate this holiday. This is not a post on bashing the culture. This post is about asking ourselves (as Christ-followers) to take a moment to examine our hearts and motives. To pause and  reflect on what we celebrate, why we celebrate, and how we celebrate. It isn’t so much about what we end up doing, as why we are doing it in the first place. Even in our celebrations and traditions we should be doing all to the glory of God.

In Leviticus we see that celebrating well matters to God. He gives the Israelites detailed instructions on how to observe feasts. God is giving party instructions! Some of us may believe God is a big stick in the mud that will do anything to hinder our fun. On the contrary, God loves joy and merriment! But God wants His people to celebrate well, and He gives the Israelites instructions on how to glorify and honor Him in their feasts.

How much time and planning have we done to ensure our families are able to celebrate God during the holidays? Thanksgiving is right around the corner. Thanksgiving implies we will be giving thanks. The question is who will we be giving thanks to? Are we taking time to remember God as the giver of every good and perfect gift? In Christmas are we actually celebrating the birth of Christ? As the New Year comes do we remember the One who is bringing us into and is Lord of this new year? How can our family praise and recognize God’s faithfulness and providence?

May we begin to see every holiday as an opportunity to worship and remember who God is, what He has done, how He has loved us and how He has called us to love others. Our hope and treasure is Christ, so let’s be creative when we celebrate, honoring Him in all we do!