Traditions are good. Sometimes in church circles we frown upon them because they are associated with lifelessness or unthinking spirituality. This is unfortunate. Traditions give us a rhythm to life and tell us what we value. They help remind us where we come from, who we are, and where we are going. Here are some valued traditions we celebrate.
Fellowship Gatherings … New Life often hosts a potlucks and picnics. Church potlucks have taken quite the ribbing as Garrison Keillor once quipped: “Lutherans can’t enter heaven without a covered dish.” Now, that is funny. Nonetheless, we see them as important tools to build bridges and to serve our visitors and university students.
Sunday Emphasis … each Sunday we emphasis a different aspect of our faith: missions, communion, prayer, and church history, with space for personal thought and response.
Baptism … people who come to genuine faith in Christ as Savior and Lord are commanded by Christ to be baptized. Thus they declare to the world that they have died with Christ and are raised with Him to walk in new life.
Communion … people who come to faith are also directed to share the Lord’s Supper: bread and the fruit of the vine. These are symbols expressing our sharing of Jesus’ divine nature, a memorial of his suffering and death, and a prophetic reminder of His second coming (1 Cor. 11:26)
Christmas Advent … Christmas is more than a tradition, it is an integral part of the church calendar. By celebrating Advent we are encouraged to prepare our hearts for the coming of God’s mystery, his incarnate Son, into our hearts.
Easter … as the central point of the church calendar, Easter defines what Christianity is all about. It is God’s victory over death for our sakes. It is a time of both personal and corporate reflection and response.