Luke 2:41-42 Every year his parents went to Jerusalem for the FEAST OF THE PASSOVER. When he was twelve years old, they went up to the Feast, according to the custom.
Each family has its own traditions. And for the Christian family, Christmas is a time to make those traditions shine out and for the memories that remain last a lifetime. The memories of my Christmases back in Africa where I grew up are priceless for me. Apart from new clothes and shoes to go with the Christmas feasting, I remember particularly the labor of love that went into decorating the Christmas tree. Of course, those days…the shops were less stocked with different varieties of decors for the trees. So our Christmas tree was very much HOMEMADE; some colored and shiny ribbons, some balloons and some white cotton wool was the best we could do to dress up our tree. And no…there was no Santa Claus to deliver some well-wrapped gifts through the chimney because, we had no chimney anyway!
Now, as a grown up…living in a different continent, away from my family and its Christmas traditions, I find myself again evolving into a different family tradition…my own and the Polish Christmas tradition. In Poland, the Christmas eve dinner is more important than the Christmas day itself. Close family members gather around the dinner table; the Christmas story is read, we break from each others waffle and forgive and make a wish then, sit to eat a meat-less meal. On the table, there is a plate set up for ‘the unexpected guest’ which represents Christ, the new born.
And while, it may seem right to keep and follow traditions, last year my husband and I made that place for the ‘unexpected guest’ come alive by inviting a elderly lady friend of ours who moved from the South of Poland and has no close family members. And by so doing, we altered the tradition by creating a MEMORABLE CHRISTMAS for her.
THE PASSOVER FEAST WAS AS IMPORTANT FOR JESUS’ FAMILY AS CHRISTMAS IS FOR A CHRISTIAN FAMILY. But Jesus’ too altered the memories of his family traditions. Each year, they went to Jerusalem for the FEAST OF THE PASSOVER. But something changed when he was 12 years old. He was left behind and when his parents finally found him, they were astonished at what they saw. Jesus was asking the teachers at the temple tough questions. And even though this was a one only incident…THE MEMORIES OF THAT PASSOVER FEAST.…was something MARY TREASURED IN HER HEART FOR MANY YEARS TO COME.
As you prepare for Christmas, how can you make it memorable for someone special or less fortunate? Is it worth to keep tradition for the sake of tradition or is it better to make use of what tradition has passed on for the good of someone else? YOU HAVE A CHOICE!