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Christmas Traditions or Worship - Live life with your kids - Issue 082
December 05, 2008
Hi there! ....

This week:

Last year my Christmas motto was

Keep your spirit gentle,
keep your house peaceful and
keep your heart full of love.

These words are in my mind again this year. I think they will become a permanent part to my Christmas preparation as they remind me that it is more about my heart than what I accomplish. The atmosphere in my home is more important than the things we do. So as I head into the next 2 weeks of lots to do it is truly a timely reminder!

Live life with your kids!

Christmas Traditions or Worship

Traditions are something that are handed down from one generation to the next and in that context a aura is built around them – which makes us hold tightly to them, to put significance in them.

And maybe that is rightly so – depending on what your traditions are.

In the Old Testament God wanted His People to remember Him, remember the deeds He had done, and remember His commands. He created traditions for His people to help them remember. Unfortunately as the years went along extra things to do was added to the celebrations and rituals that God instituted. Jesus expressed His disappointment with this

This people honours Me with their lips
But their heart is far from Me
And in vain they worship Me
Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.
For laying aside the commandment of God
You hold the tradition of men –
The washing of pitchers and cups
And many other such things you do.
Mark 7:6-8

Once again Jesus is pointing out that it is about their heart – He wanted their heart and He wants our heart. Do our traditions honour Him, worship Him, and teach Him this Christmas?

Traditions aren’t bad. Jesus himself instigated a tradition for His church when he took the bread and broke it. This was so we would remember Him.

Traditions teach a value
Traditions give a physical expression of that value
But traditions are not the value!

We need to consider these three points because it is easy to elevate the traditions higher than the truth we should be teaching. In our family, Christmas is a balance between family fun and a spiritual reminder. I don’t believe one necessarily negates the other but I must be on my guard not to let the traditions, the things we do, become more important than the things I teach while doing those things. I must also check that our traditions teach the things that Jesus wants me to teach.

This is an issue for my heart. It is helpful to have a little heart checkup occasionally -

  • Why am I doing the things I do (or we do in the family)?
  • Do these things support, encourage, teach the values we desire for our family
  • Are we keeping our heart truly worshipping God or are we just going through the motions (Jesus called it lip service)

God is Spirit,
and those who worship Him
must worship in spirit and truth.
John 4:24

God requires our spirit, our heart, to worship him, and be truthful about it! Time is so precious with our family, let us use what time we do have and ensure that our children hear the message of Jesus being born, his coming as a man, and God’s plan to redeem His Creation. Let us worship a truly wonderful God!

My ebook – Restoring the Heart, Mind and Soul of Christmas is written as a guide to help you decide about your family traditions and to keep true to your heart. It is available for free download now.

You will find Lifestyle Homeschool thoughts on Christmas here.

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Until next week

Belinda Letchford
Living life with her kids in Australia!

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