May 4

Written by Bill Grandi on May 4th, 2020

In some cases tradition gets a bad rap. And in others, it is admittedly deserved. There are also time traditions are good.  The Bible gives an example of both. My intention is to use the next two day’s worth of devotions to show them both.

In Matthew 15 and Mark 7 Jesus confronts the Pharisees and their traditions. Their traditions were many, but this confrontation came down to hand-washing a certain way, eating a certain way, even cleaning the utensils a certain way. Their way of treating their mother and father was an issue. So much so that Jesus confronted them about their tradition…and He didn’t do it nicely.  He was NOT complimentary. How devastating it must have been for them to be called out and to hear these words: “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” (Mt.15:8-9)

They were so smug in their righteousness because they were “faithful” in their traditions. I see this today. I am not a part of a church that knows the creeds-Apostles’ and Nicene. In fact, I’m guessing 98% would say, “What are those?” But there are those churches where the creeds are everything. Know them. Recite them. And that is the extent of their learning. Life goes on. Unchanged. The creed simply becomes words on a page or that flow from lips while the heart is disengaged.

The church I am the pastor of observes two “sacraments”- baptism by immersion and the Lord’s Supper. But trust me when I say they can become nothing more than traditions done by rote, especially communion. I have this feeling that Jesus’ words “They honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me” could be heard every Sunday morning. Wish it weren’t so, but it is. I know. It has been me.

“Father, please don’t let me to allow traditions to take the place of a heartfelt relationship with You.”


2 Comments so far ↓

  1. Traditions can be important and necessary, but not when they usurp acts of true, heartfelt worship. You’ve given us much food for thought here today, Bill.

  2. Phew! I think we may have some and not even realize it. I will ask Abba about it this morning. Thanks, Bill! I love posts that challenge me to allow The Holy Spirit to examine me.