Learning the Names of Jesus for Advent

Do you have any favorite Christmas traditions from when you were a child? Perhaps it was going together as a family to pick out the perfect tree. Maybe it was the cookies you baked together with your mom. These traditions are important to us because they provide us an anchor and connection to our family. Traditions tie a family together and give all of us a sense of belonging. In the Bible, traditions were important to God's people. God instructed them to celebrate certain feasts and festivals each year. These events were to be used to reflect on and remind God's people of all God had done for them. Parents were instructed to use these festivals to teach their children about God and his faithfulness toward His people.

"This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the Lord — a lasting ordinance.... And when your children ask you, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?' then tell them, 'It is the Passover sacrifice to the Lord, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when he struck down the Egyptians.'" (Exodus 12: 14, 26-27)

For Christians, traditions are important as well. As Noel Piper wrote in her book Treasuring God in Our Traditions, "The things we do regularly that help us in our deepest being to know and love and want God, the things that help our lives to be infiltrated with God – those things are traditions. And then if there are children in our lives, to pass these God-focused activities to the next generation – that's what tradition is for a Christian."

[You can finish reading the rest of this article at For the Family. Click here.]