My daughter and I have been talking about how traditions start. There are all kinds of traditions. Family traditions, Religious traditions. Personal traditions. Seasonal traditions. Local traditions.
Growing up, I loved our family traditions. My mom and dad had a lot of traditions. Holiday traditions and other traditions. The traditions helped us remember what was important to our family and bonded us together.
Traditions can be a great way of teaching our children and connecting us to others. But sometimes traditions can cause a problem of teaching our children to value the wrong things.
For example, there is a story of a tradition a family had each year when they cooked their holiday meal. As far back as any woman could remember they would cut the end off the roast before putting it in the oven to cook. One day a daughter asked her mom, why do you cut the end off. The mom said, “because your grandma always cut the end off.” The daughter went to the grandma and asked again, “why do you cut the end off?” The grandma said, “well, that is the way my mom always did it.” So the young girl went to her great grandma and asked the same question. The elderly woman thought and said,” oh, I had to cut the end off because the roast was too big for the pan.” So, it turned out that each daughter had carried on this tradition to find out it had no value to it at all, and also caused them to waste part of their roast.
When learning and passing down traditions, I think it is good to know why we created the tradition in the first place. Also, when making new traditions or adopting others traditions we need to be very clear with our children why we do what we do.
In our home we used to have a tradition of lighting the Advent candles and reading an advent book each winter. When we realized that Christ, Our Messiah, was probably born in the fall, we moved this reading to fall. We still read the same books and discuss the same Bible passages just at a different time of year. In the winter, we read a story from the historic book called the Macabees. This book is not a book of the Bible, but rather a historical book that tells of ancestors of our faith standing firm for TRUTH. As a family ,we read several books annually that are not books of the Bible but rather books of great men and woman of our faith. This is a tradition in our home.
Another tradition in our home is to read the set Torah portions each week as a family and discuss it.
Another tradition in our family is every three years to speed read through the entire Bible as a family.
We are a family that has very few holiday traditions. We celebrate the feasts of YHVH yearly, but with no real set traditions as of yet. We do have a tradition of going to Jeremy’s mom’s house on Thanksgiving day.
I will be honest adopting traditions of old sort of scare us. So many traditions that we once held dear we found to be man made traditons that took our eyes of of YHVH and on to things of this world. We have no desire to follow man made traditions. We desire only to walk in obedience to Yeshua our Messiah. He said in Matthew:
3 He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition? 4 For God commanded, ‘Honor your father and your mother,’ and, ‘Whoever reviles father or mother must surely die.’ 5 But you say, ‘If anyone tells his father or his mother, “What you would have gained from me is given to God,”[a] 6 he need not honor his father.’ So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word[b]of God. 7 You hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy of you, when he said:
8 “‘This people honors me with their lips,
but their heart is far from me;
9 in vain do they worship me,
teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’”
Traditions in and of themselves are not sin, but traditions that cause us to disobey YHVH or cause us to place our worship anywhere but at the feet of Him, is sin and evil.
As always, in our home, we choose to error on the side of caution and not adopt any traditions that may be disobedience or cause a brother or sister to be lead astray.
13 Therefore let us not pass judgment on one another any longer, but rather decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother. 14 I know and am persuaded in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself, but it is unclean for anyone who thinks it unclean. 15 For if your brother is grieved by what you eat, you are no longer walking in love. By what you eat, do not destroy the one for whom Christ died.16 So do not let what you regard as good be spoken of as evil. 17 For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. 18 Whoever thus serves Christ is acceptable to God and approved by men. 19 So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding.
20 Do not, for the sake of food, destroy the work of God. Everything is indeed clean, but it is wrong for anyone to make another stumble by what he eats. 21 It is good not to eat meat or drink wine or do anything that causes your brother to stumble.[a] 22 The faith that you have, keep between yourself and God. Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. 23 But whoever has doubts is condemned if he eats, because the eating is not from faith. For whatever does not proceed from faith is sin.[b]
Whatever we do in word or deed we hope to do all to the glory and honor of Our Lord and Savior, YHVH God of Israel.
Shalom and happy tradition making to you and your family.