“The transmission of customs or beliefs from generation to generation.” That is how the dictionary defines Tradition. I can’t define it any better. We spend the majority of our lives recognizing traditions. The way we go about our lives is shaped by traditions, just on a smaller scale. Our schooling, our morals, our religious customs, our every fiber is shaped by traditions.
I have spent much of my life slightly obsessed with sports. My favorite sport is by far baseball. Baseball is long considered to be “America’s past time” which of course comes with a boatload of traditions. Whether it is the standing and removing your cap during the national anthem, or cheering with two outs and two strikes in an inning, or stretching in the middle of the 7th inning, baseball is loaded with “traditions” and there is something about those traditions that helps to make baseball an everyday thing and part of the baseball fans life. If I were to walk into Wrigley Field and there was no organ music filling the air or Go Cubs Go didn’t play after a Cubs win (I never said all traditions are good), there would be a feeling of unfulfillment.
As much as baseball roots itself in the life of its fans, so does Christianity root itself in the heart of the believer. See, Christianity is loaded with traditions as well. Take a look at the “traditional” Sunday service. The way that we enter the church, the way we stand and sing, the way we bow our heads to pray before a teaching. All of these are traditions that we use to honor our Father. Thankfully our traditions also bring us closer to God. In Matthew 26 we read that Jesus created the greatest tradition that the body could possibly follow.
Matthew 26:26-27 26 While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take and eat; this is my body.” 27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.”
That is the tradition of the Eucharist. He broke the bread and passed the wine that would forever be used to celebrate His life and death. Could we possibly find a sweeter tradition than that?
Traditions don’t come by way of accident. They are learned behaviors from those that have come before us. We have the honor to learn from those traditions, and what can be more beautiful than the tradition that Jesus made of himself?
Spend time in prayer this week and thank God for the traditions that he has put in your life. Those little things that we take for granted as just “every day” things that we encounter. Maybe your morning devotion, your prayer before lunch, your time spent putting the kids to bed. All of those traditions bring beauty to your life so reflect on them in His presence.
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