Rituals

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort                                                                                                                                                                    II Corinthians 1:3

I am writing this blog on Thanksgiving evening, belly full after a great meal of traditional fare- turkey, cranberry sauce, stuffing, potatoes and gravy, etc. This morning I watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, and I also watched the Detroit Lions play in their traditional Thanksgiving home game. They didn’t play well, but they played on Thanksgiving.

In other words, I tried to pack in all of the rituals of Thanksgiving that I could. Unfortunately, this particular year, the best tradition of all- being surrounded by family- will have to wait until safer times.

I made time for these rituals, and maybe you did too, because rituals give us comfort. Rituals help us to feel a sense of control and normalcy, even, maybe especially, when things are NOT normal.

There is a reason, for example, that TV reruns are popular. We have seen them frequently, and we know the story, but we watch anyway. Why? Because it is comfortable and soothing. Many of us have seen Andy Griffith shows a million times, but we watch because it soothes and relaxes us. So, it’s OK folks to hang on to traditions and rituals. They have their place in calming us in times when stress is the order of the day.

As we enter the Christmas season, I expect that I will continue to maintain the soothing seasonal rituals that hearken back to a time in my life when things were simpler and more predictable. During the Christmas season, Christians understand its true meaning, and we celebrate it. Those who do not follow the faith find comfort and joy in celebrating Christmas also. I’m glad of that. While I hope the true meaning of Christmas comes shining through, I think Christians might simply find joy in celebrating the birth of the Savior with the rest of the world.

 Jesus came for all of us!

Prayer: Father, thank you for the comforts that you give us, both small and large, Amen.

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