Summary: Christmas tradition needs to be questioned and the truth of Christ affirmed.
Verse: Luke 2: 1-20
Probing Question: What is the reason for Christmas?
Key Word: reasons
Subject: Reasons for Christmas
Aim: To inspire the congregation to experience a renewed sense of what Christmas is all about.
Title: Christ Over Tradition
Christmas with your Family:
Family Traditions are a part of every Christmas celebration. Each of us has grown up with traditions that are unique to our own families. We get the Christmas lights on the house, the tree up and decorated, we all have our favourite Christmas show (The Christmas Carol, It’s A Wonderful Life, Rudolph or Frosty the Snowman), some open presents Christmas eve while others wait until Christmas morning. In our family we have Christmas breakfast after we have opened our gifts. We participate in a traditional Christmas eve service. These traditions are all a part of our family heritage.
Do we question our traditions?
The story has often been shared about the husband who asked his wife why she cuts the ends off the Sunday roast before she puts it into the roasting pan. She says to her husband, "my mother always did it that way and that was the way I was shown". The husband’s curiosity requires him to ask his mother-in-law. So next family gathering he goes to his mother-in-law and asks her why she always cuts off the ends of the roast before putting it into the roasting pan. She looks at him and says, "my mother always did it that way, so I learned from my mother and then I taught my daughter to do it the same way. But I don’t know why my mother did it that way. It’s just part of our tradition." Now the husband’s need to know becomes overwhelming so he goes to his wife’s grandmother and asks her why she cuts the ends off the roast before putting it in the roasting pan. She says to him "I had to cut off the ends to make it fit into my very small roasting pan." A tradition can start from a real need and continue through generations even though it has become irrelevant. This story confirms the need to know where our traditions have originated, why we still practice them and if they are still relevant.
In the Christian Magazine "Home Life" there was an article titled "Who Wants to be a Christmas Millionare?" taken from the popular TV show "Who Wants to be a Millionare". The article clearly showed the discrepancy between the truth of Christmas and the traditions of Christmas. We need to question traditions such as:
1. Yule logs
3. Christmas trees
Transition: Many of the traditions we take for granted have little connection with our Christian faith. It is interesting that many of us just accept them without question. Today lets take a look at three of our traditions and how they relate to Christmas and to our Christian faith.
Spirit of Giving (Saint Nicholas)
Luke 2: 1-7
2:1 Now in those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus, that a census be taken of all the inhabited earth.
2:2 This was the first census taken while Quirinius was governor of Syria.
2:3 And everyone was on his way to register for the census, each to his own city.