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Tradition - August 29, 2021

by Rev. Joan Kessler

Mark 7:1-8, 14-16

Our reading from Mark you heard Melanie just read has me reflecting on ritual and traditions and the role they play in daily living. When I consider “traditions” I have held in my life, I immediately go to Christmas… those things my family did as part of our family’s celebrations. Growing up, my siblings and I got to pick out what we called “sweet cereal” for the Christmas holidays… it was the only time of the year that we got to have Honey Combs, Froot Loops, and Count Chocula and the like. We went to Church Christmas Eve, had supper with my grandparents then went home to hang out stockings. These annual rituals marked the special day Christmas was and even though those gatherings don’t happen anymore, and I buy Froot Loops any time I like, I still come back to those memories to tell me who I am and where I came from.

I am happy to acknowledge that I am a rather routinized person… I rise in the morning at a regular time, I do my yoga practice and centering prayer. Then I eat breakfast and savor my coffee before heading into my day. I am not so rigid that I can’t mix things up. Over the summer I took a break from some things about my morning practice, but I know the benefit of the routine I have established for myself and while I might drift away from time to time, I find my way back. It grounds and settles me and helps me to maneuver the uncertainties of our interesting times.