Every year on the 1st day of school, we take a photo of my son in a shirt that says “Class of 2029.” Starting in kindergarten, it was clearly waaaaay too big. While it’s still large this year, I realize it will start to fit better in the next couple years. For us, it’s an annual tradition marking the 1st day of school.
In the Bible we know that there were several annual traditions, but one that strikes me most is the collecting of yearly taxes. Jewish males, over 20 years of age, from across the lands would pilgrimage to Jerusalem to pay their temple taxes.
While it was an important annual event to pay for the temple upkeep, I imagine it was also a great time of fellowship too. The women, if traveling with their men, likely looked forward to the trip so that they could converse with others, as well as trade goods. The men would likely have looked forward to catching up on news from around the region.
The Bible gives us clear examples of how this annual responsibility was utilized for many different reasons. In Exodus 30, we see the example of God telling Moses it was time to collect the taxes at the time of the census. In this example, we see a clear message of Moses following God’s directions.
In Matthew 17:24-27, we read of Peter being confronted by the religious leaders about if Jesus was going to pay the taxes. Jesus claimed that they were exempt, but that they would pay the tax in order to not offend the Jewish religious leaders. This shows us a lesson in humility and following the laws of man, as long as they don’t violate God’s law.
When we think of our own annual traditions, whether they are related to birthdays, evening meals, Christmas, or back-to-school, we should recognize the uniqueness of each of those traditions. Furthermore, we should pause to reflect about what lessons can be gleaned from those annual traditions.
While the annual 1st day of school photo may not be steeped in following God’s voice, humility or following man’s laws, it does allow this Mama a moment each year to see just how much her little guy is growing up.