People from all corners of the EARTH have traditions. Some cultures are steeped in tradition where others are very relaxed. One way or the other, all kindred nations and all people from every corner of the world have some kind of tradition.
Tradition by definition is a custom or a practice. It is a routine or sometimes a ritual. We all have our daily routines. We get up. We might make our bed (that is something I always love to do!). We take a shower perhaps or wash our face. We get dressed and eat our breakfast. Some people have a routine each morning to make a pot of tea or coffee. People have a routine to go running each day or some type of exercise. People brush their teeth each morning or after each meal. Many people have traditions to celebrate holidays. We are big into celebrating Thanksgiving and in fact, I like to celebrate Thanksgiving more than just once a year. I might make a fancy meal several times a year, invite guests and enjoy the time of giving thanks for all the things God has done.
People have religious rituals and practices that go back thousands of years. People practice these traditions based on the culture they were brought up in or the truth they hold in their heart. Recently Nancy and Colin Campbell invited us for a Shabbat. We were a bit worried that it might be something that they did and expected others to do which would be a type of religious bondage we would want no part of. Not knowing what to expect, we went because we were so thankful for the invite. Colin readily explained that they are not Sabbath keepers or in any kind of religious camp. That they wanted to teach us and share with us a beautiful tradition that they learned about. They choose to keep this tradition going just because it is so lovely—you will see! They told us that this tradition has been practiced for so many years and has been the glue that has held the Jewish families together. If you come together to pour blessings out upon one another a beautiful thing happens! It causes such unity and blessings in all the family relationships. How could any relationship not flourish in such a loving environment as this.
Just wait. You are in for a treat. This meal and the way they ministered to our family stuck with us and gave us a vision for how to use it to keep the lamp of GOD’s love glowing strong in many homes…
I want to take you on this journey with us, as this tradition is worth repeating. I may not call it Shabbat, even though it has some remnants of the original practice, it is Christ centered and a beautiful way to come together to bless one another as a family. That is why I would love to simply call it a Family Blessing Tradition. We have even been able to bless other families the Lord leads to us who are struggling in their family life. It is the most beautiful picture of God’s love!
I documented the second meal the Campbells invited us to..
The table is covered with the whitest cloth to symbolize the bride of Christ and the banqueting table of the marriage feast. Nancy uses her finest white dishes, white candles, and glass vessels for drinking—setting the table fit for a KING and his QUEEN.
Two loaves are brought to the table to symbolize the two loaves made by the Isrealites during their time in the wilderness, as they were given a double portion.
Because Nancy is the woman of the home, she starts the meal time with the lighting of the candles. She tells us how Jesus is the light of the world and we carry His light with us every where we go. As she lights the candles, she encourages all of us to light our own candles…
Colin places the Word of God in his lap as he reads Proverbs 31 about the Virtuous Woman. It is funny because he sometimes says the wrong word to see if the children are listening. He will ask if that is correct and they will tell him the correct word. It keeps us all on our toes! As he reads, he explains each verse—it is quite interesting and fun for the children.
As he reads the verse, “Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.” Proverbs 31:28, he encourages all the children to rise up and say a blessing over their mother. I was so blessed to hear my children tell me all the things they love about me being their mother and how thankful they are for me in their lives. I could hardly stop myself from crying. What a blessing!
His grandchildren were saying a blessing over their grandmother, Nancy. It was just so lovely!
Next, Colin proceeded to bless his dear wife, Nancy. He told of what a wonderful woman of God she was, how she has become sweeter with each passing year and how she is a crown in his home. How she was his Queen.
He pointed to this photo on the wall and expla
ined how her beauty has not faded over the years and how much she means to him.
Lastly, he leans over to give his precious wife a kiss.
How special! I was so encouraged by their love and devotion after all these years. Then Colin looks toward my husband and he says, “Mark, it is your turn!” My husband turns in my direction and holds my hand in his and he speaks the most beautiful life giving words right into my heart. He is not a man of many words and this opportunity for my children to hear how much he loves me and adores everything about me, was such a testimony to the them. How often do married couples proclaim their love and devotion to one another in front of the children? We were married so long ago, before we were blessed with children. We said our special vows and proclaimed our love for one another that day. How beautiful to do this regularly, in front of the children so that they can hear of our love for one another. What a very intimate blessing!
Then the grandfather started to bless each of his grandchildren telling them of all their beautiful strengths and all he hopes for their bright future. With tears they received his blessing!
After making his way around the table, Colin then told Mark that it was again his turn to bless his children. My husband spoke words of love and life into each of his children. He told them of the things they do well, the things that he loves about them, their uniqueness, and blessed them for their entire futures in the Lord! What a special time! Children need to hear their fathers tell them how much they are loved. This is all so healing!
Next, it was the woman’s turn to bless! Nancy started to bless her dear husband and tell him of all the wonderful things he does for her, his unfailing love, and his devotion to Christ—how much it means to her and how blessed she is to be his wife! So inspiring!
Colin then turned to me and said it was now my turn. I could not help but burst into excitement when I told my husband how much he means to me, his righteous leading of our home, his love for his family, how hard he works to provide a good life for us, what a loving father, kind hearted neighbor, and follower of Christ. I told him I feel like I got the better end of the deal when I married HIM!
We next took communion together, remembering the blood that was shed on our behalf for the remission of our sins.
My husband said the prayer over partaking of this blessing.
Colin said a prayer over the bread as a symbol of Jesus’s body which was broken for us!
The bread was passed around the table and we each broke off a portion and we took it as we remembered our dear Lord and Savior dying for us. He took our sins upon himself and died the death we deserved.
The beautiful food was passed around the table to enjoy. Nancy was cooking all day, meatloaf, golden yams, cucumbers, and potatoes. Such a feast. She is such a Queenly hostess. She loves to serve and minister to others. It is the most beautiful thing to observe. It is an example to me as the woman of my home, how to have such a heart to minister to all that come through the doorpost of my home—to show them the Love of Christ. For even Jesus washed the disciples feet. He was first a servant and He is our example.
Passing around the delicious meatloaf. What a glorious meal! We were so blessed!
After enjoying a wonderful hearty and very tasty meal, I introduced my eclairs and homemade ice-cream that I bought to share! So fun to help in a small way to add a little icing to the cake!
Colin brought out his daily light that contains a nice bible reading for that evening.
The reading was about the veil of the temple being torn. What an interesting topic for our meal fellowship conversation!
We were all certainly enjoying this topic. It is fun to learn about such wonderful things from Gods word!
Nancy pulled out her prayer boxes. Oh, I have to teach you about this marvelous thing she does. She decorates little card boxes and each box has a different topic. These boxes are brought out upon each mealtime and during her prayer time as well to remember to pray for the needs of our nation, of our world, of our family, and those in need. It is so amazing! What a powerful way to end the evening with prayer.
As you can see, this box is for the Persecuted Christians and in the box are different articles, different cards of current needs in the persecuted Christian churches across the world. I plan to make some cards for our family because there are so many needs across the world and even from those people we have the blessing to know. It is a way to help children see what the needs are, and know how to pray. They go right to the Father to pray with these needs, but they can see the card and have some inspiration on what they can pray for. Such a marvelous idea!
Next we all draw a card from the box.
They asked Junior to pick a box to draw from and he picked the box of the nations of the world which is neat because you can pray for the nation and also learn about geography. Listen people, nations are not changed by governments as much as they are changed by the prayers of humble families gathered around their tables.
The prayers of the faithful and the children going up to a loving Father in heaven. Prayer changes the world. Each person or child around the table took their turn to lift up the needs of others. What a wonderful and unselfish act.
We all sang a beautiful hymn to close this wonderful evening of blessing and fellowship. You feel full, not just from natural food and drink, but full and satisfied from feasting on those eternal things that feed our souls. What a blessing and what a tradition.
Some of you right now struggle in your marriage or your family life. Would this not be a wonderful solution? Would this not heal the brokeness you are experiencing? Could this precious time of pouring out blessings to those in your home be the cure? I know it was for us. It has truly changed the course of our paths and we will be ever and forever thankful for the example of this lovely family who took us in as their own, fed us, and poured out love upon us in Christ. We are in AWE. God is good!
Maybe you could find time to make this a tradition in your home as well!