"I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing."
- John 15:5
In Germany, parents of long ago would hide a pickle amid the branches of their Christmas tree. On Christmas Eve, the children would look for the pickle and whoever found it, would receive the first gift of Christmas. Our family started this same tradition about 15 years ago after learning about it during a trip to NYC.
Over the years it has become so competitive with our children that we have had downed trees, broken ornaments, and hurt feelings! Why still do it? Well, it's tradition and it has provided a lot of great memories ... really, it has!
Yet, I often wonder if we are also leaving traditions of kingdom value to our children as well. The pickle is good and fun and certainly, nothing is wrong with those kinds of traditions, but we desperately need to leave behind more than just the surface ones. The most important tradition should be a deep personal love for, as my 14 year old friend in Botswana put it, the “One True God".
Are our children and one day grandchildren going to see and experience Christ through us not just on the surface branches but genuinely deep in the inner branches of our souls ...deep enough where God won't be just a holiday ornament or Sunday tradition? We want to wear Him as The Mighty King, as Our Rock, as the Great Comforter and as the Prince of Peace every hour of every day.
So yeah, we will hang a pickle on the tree for fun, we will go to church on Sundays for worship and fellowship but most importantly I pray that our family celebrates the tradition of living life EVERY DAY with a genuine love for Christ. Does that mean we don't and won't mess up, say something we shouldn't , or make a poor choice?
Are you kidding me? You're talking about the Kight family. We mess up on a regular basis!
But it's a genuine attempt at a life of obedience as led by Christ. It's things like waking up every day and asking for enough guidance for just that day; it's changing course with a joyful heart when He asks us to; it's searching for wisdom in decision making; and it's loving others through the good and the difficult.
The "pickle" is a great Kight family tradition but an everyday through thick and thin relationship with our Heavenly Father ... PRICELESS!
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