Apparently, Christmas isn’t a national holiday in Japan, but they still celebrate it. How they celebrate, however, is somewhat unusual. It seems that back in the 1970’s, the company behind KFC decided to do some intense marketing to the Japanese people, so they pushed KFC as the perfect way to celebrate Christmas. The idea caught on, and Japanese KFC’s report their biggest sales of the year on Christmas Eve. Because nothing says “Christ is born” like the Christmas Eve Party Bucket – it comes with fried chicken and wine.
Do you have any odd traditions for Christmas that your family has passed down through the years? I think the most unusual for our family is the annual watching of Die Hard. “Ho, Ho, Ho…now I have a machine gun.” C’mon? What’s more Christmasy than that?
Traditions are great. They can keep us in touch with our history and even connect us with what is unique about our family or community. Traditions, however, can become troublesome if we allow them to take precedence over the more important issues of life. That’s what we’ll be considering this Sunday as we read Matthew 15:1-20 in our study of Matthew.
The passage starts out with a controversy over hand washing. This wasn’t about hygiene – it was about this:
V6, 8, 17-20 sum up Jesus’ response to the Pharisees. How would you word what it is that Jesus is trying to communicate about religious traditions and rules?
What does Jesus point to as being the most important issue when it comes to our relationship with God and how we live our lives in this world (v19)?
It’s not addressed in this passage per se, but how do we go about seeing a change take place in our hearts if righteousness doesn’t come from the outside in?
I hope this proves to be an encouraging foray into the Gospel of grace. See you on Sunday!