Thursday, April 07, 2011

The One Left Out

I put together my lesson for Sunday yesterday. My plan is to share the main points on my blog next week, as I have been doing since the series began. This topic is very different from the other seven on the Extreme Makeover list. All the other topics are qualities or virtues what we all need to care about and grow in, but this one is - well, a concept or an idea that can be either good or bad, depending on how we use it. I'm talking about traditions. Traditions are a tool to use that can support all the other qualities on my list. In the family, traditions are a very important part of building togetherness and closeness, and give us warm memories that we cherish and want to pass on to the next generation. I had a lot of notes of things I wanted to be sure and cover in this lesson. I was able to include most of them in the outline, and as usual, it's probably way more than I need to be covering in one lesson, but that's the nature of dealing with huge subjects in just one lesson. The one "note" on my list that I didn't put into the lesson was the importance of respecting the traditions of others. It's just too big a point to make as just a passing sub point in one sermon. Still, I think it's very important. I especially think it's important because I've already made the point in the lesson on Respect that you don't have to agree with someone to respect their opinions and view points. I spent too many years being judgemental, critical, and smug about people who practiced traditions that I didn't subscribe to or doctrinally agree with. I don't have to agree with it, and I have no business assuming that because I don't participate or agree, the ones who do must be ignorant, insincere, or shallow. Gut check! Is it really about the tradition or the heart? Because something looks strange or doesn't make sense to me, does that mean it's not honoring God when it's coming from a sincere heart? Many scream, "It's has to have biblical authority!" Would you like to dissect a Sunday morning communion and find out how much of what we do comes from our traditions and not the Bible? The heart is the most important report card to God. I believe He respects any attempt to seek Him, glorify Him, and become more like Him. As long as the tradition isn't made law and elevated above God's will, I should respect it. Paul did that on several occasions, and no one was tougher on legalism than he was. Maybe I can find space in my lesson after all. (Sorry - blogger's still not accepting any Return/Enter Breaks - hope that's not a new tradition!)

No comments: