Tradition – we all have traditions. The problem, as Jesus is pointing out in our passage this Sunday, is sometimes we add on to the tradition so it becomes twisted from its original intent. In Jesus’ time, the dietary laws had become so interpreted that the whole meaning of the Torah had been twisted around into a bunch of meaningless prohibitions. Unfortunately for us, we’re still doing it.
Not too long ago in this country, there were several churches in which a person could not receive communion unless they had attended so many Sunday School classes or church events. It got to be such a tradition that the person was required to present a card which had been signed at the communion table – hand in your card, get it approved and you received your bread and cup. Our church founders, Alexander Campbell and Barton Stone said this tradition was ludicrous. So now, in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) all are welcome at the table. No restrictions. So now we have a new tradition.
I would encourage you to look at all of the traditions in your life. Are they good traditions? Or are they traditions which should be done away with? I have a tradition of hanging on to some things because “I might use that again some day” or “Maybe I can use that for something else.” In the case of my grandfather’s hand tools, it’s a good tradition (or at least I believe it is.) In the case of some old plastic shelving, it’s a stupid tradition - time to go home and throw that junk out.
What’s your set of traditions? Are you doing things just because you’ve always done it that way? If so, maybe it’s time to listen to Jesus and throw out some “junk.”
This blog consists of reflections written by the minister each week for the Sunday bulletin. We hope that you enjoy the musings!