Hey! Who took my Traditions?
Blessed Easter, Resurrection Sunday!
So, I have a very interesting question for you all.
Did you have the privilege to go to a Good Friday service yesterday? We didn’t. Not that there are not a hundred churches we could have picked from and gone and done so if we so chose to. But one reason, that seems to stick out for me is, I didn’t want to be the ‘visitor’ again. We are roaming down here in our RV so people know we are not staying, that we can’t stay. But as a consequence we are treated, always kindly (American people are very ‘kind’), and by some really openly. No matter how much I do believe they truly love us; we are still the ‘visitors.’ Often we are introduced as the “Canadian visitors.”
The Baby's in the Bathwater!
Anyway, I digress.
I had really hoped our church here would do something for Easter. But they haven’t. All through Lent, Ash Wednesday, Maundy Thursday, even Good Friday, not a word has been mentioned as to the season of remembrance we are in. Don’t get me wrong…the of the independent Churches ‘people’ are not in the ‘habit’ of keeping traditional remembrances any longer, so, like with anything, they just don’t think of it. At the same time, that could be a ‘reason’… but it definitely should not be the excuse.
The Church we go to is not an ‘organized’ Church like the mainline Churches, Anglican, Lutheran etc. Not that they aren’t organized. However, they are not “organized’ in the sense of a lot of programs and formalities; traditions. Which for some things I really do believe in and totally agree with. But why throw out the Baby with the bathwater!
Hey! Where's the Baby?
If we would but see God as Ezekiel saw Him
I believe that some traditions, celebrations, or remembrances are reverent fear of the Lord. These activities should say something about how we feel about our God. As well it should say what He is to us. Our God…our Holy, Mighty, Ruler over all God… Sometimes in our churches (as in the generic, universal church) we don’t act like He is that at all!
I grew up in the LutheranChurch and I am really grateful for the “traditional” religion I received. It gave me a sense of awe towards God. Yes, I have to be careful to throw out cold religiosity but…I need to keep the warm reverent awe of our absolutely Holy, Mighty, Majestic, Awe-full God. If we would but see God as Ezekiel saw Him or Isaiah or Moses we would be on our faces in the Church. Not out of some emotional experience but out of pure acknowledgment of who He is. In addition who we are in light of this realization!
Again, don’t get me wrong, I truly love our Church. They are the warmest, opened armed people in the family of God I have had privilege to meet. But this is not about them, it is about God though, and what He has so graciously done for us. Anyway, can you tell this is really important to me. I felt the same way at Christmas.
I love the healthy formal traditions. It is a chance for me to once again focus on the reality of my relationship with God in a specific area. I know, I am can do this all year round, Easter or Christmas is not just the one day a year. But, let’s face it, we, as sinful human beings, do not. We get caught up in life; the busyness of life. We need times like Good Friday to deliberately put my mind and heart and soul in telephoto focus of who God is and what He did for us! So much of life is about us, and what we are about. Good Friday would have been about God and what He is about.
Holy Awe-Full God
More than enough reason to Celebrate
We have no problems with our man traditions, like Remembrance Day or Memorial Day, or Mother’s and Father’s Day. We don’t call these empty traditions…we acknowledge that we need a day where we deliberately think of the good the appropriate people have done for us. We see and recognize the sacrifice that has been made on our behalf by our soldiers and/or parents. We could say, just as well, that we ‘shouldn’t’ need these as we aught to think and remember all year round what they have done and who they are and make acknowledgment to them . But we know we don’t so it’s important enough to us that we make a special day and ‘reverently’ keep the observance of this day.
So why can’t we do this for the things of God which have so much greater ramifications for us? Jesus’ birth, His life, His sufferings, His humiliating walk to the cross, His death and burial. And then finally His wonderful and fantastic resurrection form the dead! Jesus did this all for us. Jesus did this in obedience to Father, who loved us so much that He sent Jesus His only Son to do this for us. Jesus life was not “taken” from Him; He laid it down. Jesus gave up His own life on our behalf…on purpose. Why? Because He loved us and wanted to pay the price, which only He could as the sinless man of God, so that we could have relationship with our Creator once again. That is more than enough reason to Celebrate and sing Hosanna’s to the Glory of God our Father.
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