Traditions

Beautiful repetitions bind us together
‘we always bake these cookies,
celebrate this way’
give life and meaning
raise us above our more ordinary days.

Other patterns, attitudes
like recipes
handed down from generation to generation
bind and blind.

Family histories of oppression, abuse, mediocrity
tragic, not new
so too church families, God’s called ones
set apart to lead, to serve, to love,
Lord, how have you endured these slanders to Your Name?

Men, called to serve God, learn customs, traditions;
hearts aflame become tired
cool turns cold, turns to lifeless duty.

What did You see, think, Jesus,
as the priests in Your day bound themselves to legalism over Love?
as they labored again on yet another Passover,
slaying and offering thousands of bleeding lambs
while You were bleeding for them
as you bled for me.

An unimaginable interruption to tired duty:
invisible hands tore the massive temple curtain in half;
agast, horrified, did everything stop?
Did tradition-soaked priests attempt to cover the opening
to the Holy of Holies as if You God were suddenly exposed,
naked for all to see …
as was Your Lamb, hanging lifeless
on the tree?

What did these learned, illustrious,
perfection-driven robed men think, feel, fear,
as they gaped at two crimson puddles?
Rule-bound hearts passionately resist change,

The lure of legalism, universal.
I too have felt fear, panic, loss, vulnerable,
when You, Jesus, disrupted my traditions,
my preferred way of doing life.
I too have responded like Your temple priests
with high control crisis management.

O great Disrupter of all that keeps me from You,
help me look at every interruption
see Your invisible hands
ripping apart that which I falsely trust.

O Love that will not stop
help me welcome each moment of lost control
as another divine opportunity
to engage, trust, rest with You,
to discover You alive again, calling me to more of You!

Your invitation is ever present.
“Come to Me,”
You repeat thousands of times a day … to me …
to billions of lost tradition-bound souls on this orb.
May you increasingly hear from me,
Yes, Lord, I come to You.
Show me a new way,
Your way.
Amen.

We humans have a love-hate relationship with rules.

We love them because they give definition, curbs, guidelines, order and even safety to our lives.
God knows we need them. But we hate them for confining us when we want to soar beyond
their constrictions and limits. And so, all of us rebel and break the rules, the established order.
We are born rebellious.

Easter is the ultimate clash of we rule-bound-rebels with the great rule-breaker-Transcender!
Jesus both fulfilled the Law in every way and yet rose above it all by showing us the greater
Law of Love.

Because of our brokenness, our sin-sickness we can’t keep the law of Love; we need the
governance of rules and laws to order our lives and world. One day all that will change when
Jesus comes back to rule on earth with a new and perfect world order!

This week, as you remember and honor the last week of Jesus’ life, as you journey with Him to
the cross, look at your own heart and ask, “How much like the priests am I? Am I trusting in
my efforts to please God? What is my response when He tears down my hopes, my security
as He did the priests on Good Friday?”

This is a week of reflection before the great joy of Resurrection Sunday!

Ask Him to help you see your heart as He does.

May you encounter Jesus this week and be changed because you’ve been with Him personally!

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1 thought on “Traditions”

  1. This is a great read & reminde;. Asking to see my heart as Jesus sees it. We remember & honor this last week as he approaches the hill.

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