Back in 2006, our church was between preachers. Each week, a pastor would visit and do the sermon for us. The week before Christmas, Nanny and I were sitting in our usual pew, chatting about Christmas dinner before the service started.
Here’s the important part… the visiting preacher was not even in the sanctuary. In fact, at the time we were talking, no one was anywhere near us.
Why is that important? Because apparently, Jesus thinks tradition is important. Or He just likes a good laugh.
Nanny actually up and said something that struck fear into my heart. She said, “This year, I don’t think I’m going to make broccoli casserole. I think everyone is getting tired of it.”
I’m sorry. What? Every Thanksgiving and Christmas of my life, there has been broccoli casserole on my Nanny’s table. To not have it would be, well, unthinkable. I actually looked at her and said, “Trust me. Nobody is tired of it. And if you don’t make it, everybody’s going to notice.” She sort of shrugged and told me she’d think about it, but she doubted she’d bother this year.
Well, church started and the visiting preacher came out and preached. Now he didn’t know a soul in our church and certainly not me or my grandmother. He was one of those preachers who likes to walk while he talks, and he was all up and down the aisles of our church while he spoke.
Know what he talked about? Tradition. And halfway through his sermon, he walked straight up our aisle, leaned across my dad, my daughter, and me, pointed straight at my Nanny, and said, “And that dish you’re thinking about not making for Christmas dinner? You’d better make it.” And he walked away.
I froze. Nanny froze. Then I leaned over to her and said, “Jesus just told you to make broccoli casserole for Christmas.”
She did, of course. And she did every single year after. (This year, for Thanksgiving, for the first time since she went to be with Jesus in 2016, I made it in her honor.)
Frankly? After that little incident, I think she was scared not to. 🙂