Why break a tradition?

bread-and-wine

   “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat.”
   He answered them, “And why do you break the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?”

MATTHEW 15:2-3

You know you have them.

Traditions. In your family. At holidays. With the church. They can be wonderful. We can do them from our heart and benefit greatly.

For years I’ve participated in the Lord’s Supper every Sunday morning in basically the same way. First, silently praying while someone prays publicly, then eating a cracker crumb from a plate passed around. Then praying again, and drinking a swallow of grape juice from a tray of cups passed around.

But lately that tradition has been morphing.

Sometimes I tear a hunk of bread shared around a table, then swallow it down with juice from a Dixie cup. Or tear the plastic from a pre-wrapped wafer secured above a sealed cup of juice at my pew. Or this past Sunday, walk a line to dip a torn piece of bread in a cup of juice, then return to my seat and pray with Jeff before eating.

All different. But all good.

It’s when men’s traditions become crystallized as commandments of God we have a problem.

And when we break God’s commandments to maintain men’s traditions we have an even larger problem.

The Pharisees were more interested in looking good on the outside than on obeying God from the heart. Importance was placed on following what was handed down by men.

God desires our hearts, not our rules. He wants our worship, not our customs.

When traditions interfere with putting God first, break them.

Lord,
   Help us honor
you more than our traditions.
   Help us remember
why, not just how.
   May we worship from our hearts, and let go of man-made creeds that interfere, regardless of how attached we’ve become.
   Your will be done. Your glory be magnified.

* * *

Do you have a tradition that needs breaking so you can better obey God?

REVISED FROM THE ARCHIVES

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