fiddlerSaying the title of this post, can’t you just hear Rev Tevia singing, shouting, “TRADITION!” It is a marvelous, passionate scene in Fiddler on the Roof, where Rev Tevia, the father and leader of his Jewish family outwardly struggles with maintaining, “TRADITION!”

Although I am not straining to maintain tradition; I, too, am struggling with continuing tradition. I am in a place where I am sorting through my collection of traditions,

examining them,

understanding why I do them,

perhaps keeping some of them, and discarding the rest; specifically in regards to Christmas Traditions.

To begin, I struggle with just getting past the name of the season, Christmas. The history of this word is Christ’s Mass. Not my tradition.

{While not apologizing for my reformed theology, I am sensitive to those in the Roman Catholic Church where Mass is their tradition.}

And then there is Advent, another handed-down-through-the-centuries term from the Roman Catholic Church. It’s history is one of obligatory preparation required by the Roman Catholic Church prior to Christ’s Mass.
Not my tradition.

Which brings me to the biggest question of all — Biblically, does Christmas have anything to do with my reformed faith?

With the tough questions, I often rely on the 19th Century Theologins. Let’s ask Charles Sprugeon!

Found a fabulous copy of his thoughts which don’t fit any pre-determined opinion-molds on the topic, Christmas. If you struggle with some of these same thoughts, please read the entire article, Spurgeon on Christmas.

If you just want Spurgeon’s bottom line:

Nevertheless since, the current of men’s thoughts is led this way just now, and I see no evil in the current itself, I shall launch the bark of our discourse upon that stream, and make use of the fact, which I shall neither justify nor condemn, by endeavoring to lead your thoughts in the same direction. Since it is lawful, and even laudable, to meditate upon the incarnation of the Lord upon any day in the year, it cannot be in the power of other men’s superstitions to render such a meditation improper for to-day. Regarding not the day, let us, nevertheless, give God thanks for the gift of His dear Son. December 24, 1877.

“Still, although we do not fall exactly in the track of other people, I see no harm in thinking of the incarnation
and birth of the Lord Jesus. We do not wish to be classed with those, Who with more care keep holiday
The wrong, than others the right way.” Spurgeon, December, 1855

christmas-lightsLike anything else, traditions are about the place in one’s heart they occupy. Do we honor and worship the “TRADITION!”  as an end in and of itself OR do we use traditions as a means to an end? Namely, to celebrate the humbling would-be Savior-child God gave to humanity, “born in Bethlehem of Judea” (Matthew 2:1)

Continually sorting,