Holidays, birthdays, celebrations—I love them all! Being festive breaks up the monotony of the day to day. When we pause to consider the reasons behind the celebrations, however, we realize that there is more than mere fun involved. There is the remembrance of rich history, but more than that, there is the reminder that God has His hand in all of it. History is “His Story.” It is easy to get caught up in the day to day and forget our past, but celebrating the traditions of old will bring both joy and meaning to our lives. Traditions are not just for old souls, but these are celebrations and traditions for the modern Christian family.
The Importance of Passing on Values and Tradition
If you study genealogy and make a family tree, you may only get as far as the names or dates. The true beauty is in the detail. Who had the same eyes or hair? What did they do as a career? What were the actual stories of their lives? What were their values and traditions? These are truly important things that remain here once we are gone–the values and traditions we have passed on to future generations.
Even though you may not know it, you may have some of the same values and traditions as your elders. Perhaps your great grandmother passed her beliefs down to your grandmother, who taught them to your mother, who in turn taught them to you. Family values matter and can be passed on through celebrations and traditions. This is a God ordained process.
“Let each generation tell its children of your mighty acts; let them proclaim your power.” Psalm 145:4 NLTPsalm 145:4 NLT
Celebrations are a Way of Teaching Values
God created many celebrations and holidays to help His people remember their heritage. Although today’s celebrations can be thought of as frivolous, God’s celebrations were rich with meaning. They ranged from weekly traditions of the Sabbath to yearly traditions like Passover. You can find a wide list of them in the Jewish calendar today. After Christ came, we added more to the Christian Calendar, such as Christmas and Easter.
What if Your Family Didn’t Pass On Many Traditions?
If your family didn’t pass on many celebrations and traditions, they can still add value to your life. You are part of the family of God. It is never too late to start celebrating Him and there is always a reason to celebrate!! God wants us to remember our Christian heritage.
Celebrations and Traditions for the Modern Christian Family to Consider
We can celebrate the goodness of God and that His mercies are new every morning. Each day with Jesus is a day of hope and rejoicing. Check out these other ideas for ways to celebrate and learn the history of God’s people.
Shabbat–Resting Weekly on the Sabbath and Reaping the Rewards
Passover–Learning about History, Values, and God’s Promises for the Future by Asking Questions.
Shavout–Learning Gratitude During the Festival of Harvest
Tisha B’Av–Holding Onto Hope While Remembering the Destruction of the Holy Temples and the Tragedy the Jews Have Experienced
High Holy Days–Experiencing Forgiveness During High Holy Days Such as Yom Kipper(The Day of Atonement)
Sukkot–Growing in Faith and Trust in God’s Provision Just as the Isrealites Did In the Desert
Purim–Being Courageous Like Esther
Daily Tzedakah–Learning that Righteous Living Benefits the Giver and the Receiver
How Can You Prepare for Unfamiliar Celebrations?
If you are unsure of how to prepare for these unfamiliar celebrations, that is okay. This was all new to me recently as well. Going into the school year, however, I knew that I wanted to focus on teaching my children more deeply about God. I love a good holiday and I had heard of others incorporating the study and celebration of many Jewish holidays into their homeschool. After all, Jesus was Jewish and celebrated and observed these Jewish traditions Himself.
Generation to Generation
One of the best ways I have found to learn about Jewish traditions is by reading the book, Generation to Generation: Passing on a Legacy of Faith to Our Children. It is a wonderful book written by Yael Eckstein, the President and CEO of the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, a group dedicated to helping Israel and the Jewish people. It is the largest provider of humanitarian aid in Israel. You can find more info about her on the book site, www.generationbook.org. Who better to teach you about Jewish traditions?
Yael Eckstein reveals the keys to passing on a strong faith, just like the Jewish people have done for thousands of years in spite of suffering, persecution, and even the Holocaust. The book is written in a clear and personable style, showing exactly how these Jewish traditions fit in with the Christian lifestyle as well. All ages and generations of family members are included in the celebrations. Each section includes a few questions to discuss with your children, as well as a short parent section, and correlating memory verses. While the content is meaty, it is broken into bite size pieces that are easily implemented into our daily lives. Clearly understanding the celebrations and traditions mentioned above will enrich your family’s understanding of Jewish culture, and your own Christian heritage.
Win Your Own Copy
If you would like to enter to win a copy of Generation to Generation: Passing on a Legacy of Faith to Our Children, click here!
What are your favorite family celebrations?