Peace – Prayer – Joy – Love

Family Traditions

Child of Love: Family Traditions

  1. Families have traditions they carry from generation to generation;
    traditions that reflect who they are & that shape who they are.

    1. A couple from my own family:
      1. Free Comic Book Day is greatly anticipated by our family.
      2. As a kid; Friday night hockey games & my favorite seats.
    2. What are some of your favorite family’s traditions?
    3. What about the favorite traditions of this faith family of ours?
  2. We often memorialize our family traditions by taking snapshots: The Apostle Paul gives a good snapshot of our family traditions in our 1st reading from his epistle to the Romans
    1. He gives a list of the traditions of the early Christian family:
      1. Genuine love for one another
      2. Reject evil & hold onto good
      3. Rejoice in hope
      4. Patience in suffering & Persevering in prayer
      5. Meet the needs of the saints & Hospitality to strangers
      6. Bless those who persecute you
      7. Rejoice w/those who rejoice, weep w/those who weep
      8. Live in harmony with one another & peaceably with all
      9. Do not be prideful, but associate with the lowly
      10. Overcome evil with good
  1. We also have a snapshot here of traditions not of our family:
    1. Lagging in zeal (apathy & absence)
    2. Cursing those who oppress you (wrath)
    3. Claiming to be wiser than you are (pride)
    4. Repaying evil for evil (violence & wrath)
    5. Avenging yourselves (revenge & wrath)
    6. Overcome by evil (accepting bondage to fear/hatred)
  1. Like our own family traditions, the family traditions of our faith both shape who we are as well as reflect who we are to others
    1. In a world that often welcomes bondage to fear and hatred, we are a family liberated, marked & shaped by love & mercy!
    2. The Empires of this world claim their members through fear. and divide themselves up through hatred & egocentrism, but the Kingdom of God adopts its members through love and mercy; other-oriented love that thinks of others before self.
    3. These traditions shape who we are and reflect that to others.
  2. Family traditions are a window into the character of the family.
    1. Through these traditions we can the very character of God: God is, after all, the origin & the author of these traditions.
    2. In John 17, Jesus said: “this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God … I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. 
    3. Through these traditions we see our relationship with God  as well as with each other and the world around us
    4. In John 13, Jesus said: I give you a new commandment,
      that you love one another. Just as I have loved you,
      you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”
  3. And yet, some of us are probably thinking that this “snapshot” of family traditions feels like a long laundry list of expectations?
    1. So how many of the family traditions in this long laundry list are we supposed to keep up with to be part of the family?
    2. We might ask is there perhaps a simpler way to put all this? Maybe all this feels just too overwhelming? Good News!
    3. Jesus knew we needed help & he made it really simple for us (Matt.22): You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
      and with all your soul, and with all your mind.
      This is the greatest and first commandment. 
      & the second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 
      On these two commandments hang all the law & the prophets.
    4. Two things only: 1) Love GOD; … 2) Love One Another
  4. This is the Good News for us; we’re beloved; we’re children of love
    1. God loves us so much that he came in person to show us.
    2. Jesus lived it & left a family tradition for us to remember it …


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