Pondering this morning on TRADITIONS – the transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation.
This time of the year is FULL of special TRADITIONS, all the way from the food we eat, the decor we hang, to the gifts we give. Traditions during this season are SO very special and give us a sense of comfort, of belonging and connection with those who have moved on. I would venture to say that MOST traditions this time of year bring us closer together, unite us and help us to love one another more deeply.
This led me to ponder on TRADITIONS in the church and when I did, I discovered the fruit they seem to produce are quite the opposite of our Holiday Traditions.
I grew up Baptist, a very common denomination in the south, where there is a church on every corner. We have the “first” Baptists, the “second” Baptists and the 3rd, 4th and 5th, all within a mile of each other. Oh, I’m not just picking on the Baptists, we have the Catholics, the Methodists, the “nondenominationals” and on and on it goes. Evidence that TRADITIONS within the body of Christ tend to separate, divide and don’t look anything like love.
As a young adult and for many more years, I fell right into this religious trap. I thought MY denomination had all the answers and I was passionate about it! As I walked this journey of life, questions came…then pondering…then answers. Sometimes these answers didn’t line up with my TRADITIONS. I wrestled and reluctantly “let go” of these TRADITIONS one by one. I still am.
What I’m saying to you is this…TRADITIONS, when life giving, are Beautiful and worthy of passing on BUT… TRADITIONS that divide, that cause someone to lord over someone else, that require us to conform to a man made image of God… that ask us to leave our questions at the door, are NOT worthy of passing on!
Don’t be afraid to question. Don’t be afraid to ponder. Don’t be afraid to “let go” of TRADITIONS that don’t lead you to the LOVE OF THE FATHER. You may just find, as I have, that the TRUTH is waaaaaaay more beautiful than the tradition!
Happy Sunday my friends! Happy Pondering!