Fall is here, and that means the holiday season is right around the corner. For my wife and me, this will be our second holiday season as a married couple. Last year was a strange culture shock for the both of us. It was the first time for us to be out of our elements for holidays. Our families do things differently. We eat different foods. We eat at different times. There is no system to how we open presents on Christmas Eve or Christmas morning. That’s how it’s always been. For 22 years of my life, my family’s holiday traditions have gone on relatively unchanged.
It’s tough when we are put into a situation where things are done differently, especially if we have done it a certain way for so long. I talked to a guy yesterday who didn’t have a cell phone. “You don’t have a cell phone?” “Nope. Who needs a cell phone? I have a home phone.” “Who uses a home phone anymore?”
I’m pretty sure when the first cell phone was developed, the critics said, “That’ll never catch on. That’s what home phones and the mail system are for.” Phones the size of bricks changed into phones the size of smaller bricks. Then they developed flip phones with black screens and green lights. Then color screens hit market. What, polyphonic ring tones? Touch screens. Now you can video-chat with someone on the other side of the world using wireless and 4G technology.
It all started with Dr. Martin Cooper and his team back in the early 1970s. They adventured beyond the scope of common thought and tried something new. They broke tradition to create the first mobile phone.
Flash forward several centuries to a guy named Jesus. Most of us know his story. He was a Jew, and the majority of his first followers were Jews. Speaking of tradition, check out this little gem from The Fiddler on the Roof. Mazal Tov!
Needless so say, the Jews of the first century were very committed to keeping the Law of Moses and several other regulations that were placed on them by the religious leaders. Then Jesus comes out declaring that there are new commandments that must be kept, and salvation is based on faith and grace, not by keeping the Law. To some Jews, this was an outrage. To others, this was freedom. In his letter to the church in Galatia, Paul writes, “Now that faith has come, we are no longer under supervision of the Law” (Gal. 3:25).
I’ll admit, there is security in keeping traditions, but there is also freedom in breaking them. It exposes us to adventure. You may fall flat on your face. It may work out. Growth usually comes when we figure out what doesn’t work on our way to finding what does.
What are some new things that you can do to enhance your faith?
What are some new things that the Church can do to reach out to those on the outside? I’d love to hear your feedback on this one.