12-22 Advent Devotional

Leaving Tradition

Julie Holm

Luke 1:57-66

 My husband and I had a tradition, as many families do, of Christmas Stockings.  We have beautiful stockings, cross-stitched by my mother, which we filled every year with treats and gifts for each other.  On Christmas Eve we set the table for Christmas morning, stuffed stockings, for each other and our children.  My husband loved to overfill my stocking so it spilled out all over my plate and onto the table with surprises.   As the kids moved out, and our pile of stuff became more choking, this tradition began to have less meaning for us.  Last year, we decided to forego the tradition, and see how it felt.  It felt freeing.  It was time. This year we didn’t even ask.  We still hang the beautiful stockings my mother made, we simply no longer fill them.

Zechariah’s family has a tradition of naming children after family members.   But Elizabeth and Zechariah know the time has come to let this tradition go.  Something new is springing up to take the place of tradition.  God is doing a new thing in John.  The change is freeing for Zechariah, spiritually and physically, as his tongue, silent since the announcement of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, is freed and he embraces God’s new thing.

Are there traditions in your Christmas that it is time to leave behind, so that God can do a new thing in your life, and with your Christmas?  What if by leaving a tradition behind you could see Christmas through new eyes?  Would you?

Rev. Julie Holm pastors the Brush Valley Fusion of Faith in Rebersburg and Madisonburg, PA:  St. Peter’s United Church of Christ, St. Peter’s Lutheran (ELCA) and Christ United Church of Christ. She also edited this booklet.

©2016 by individual authors and Facebook Narrative Lectionary Group.  This work is published under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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