Taking a look at what a traditional church in America is today you might find, that the pastor is well dressed (most times in a suit or nice pants or robes as in Catholic churches), well spoken and smiles often. His duties vary from visiting the sick, baptisms, weddings, meeting with people, etc. He respects the traditional observances of church life – Easter, Christmas and Palm Sunday. Most pastors keep doctors hours (he’s always on call). These things are not bad or evil, it just the state of most churches.
So it leads me to wonder, if Jesus is the example of a Good Shepherd, then how did He take care of His sheep? When His good friend was sick He didn’t make a house call to pray for him. He stayed away and when he died, Jesus wept. He did raise him from the dead and that was the big picture, but still not very traditional.
He went into the temple area and over turned the money changers tables. He healed on the Sabbath. He ate with tax collectors and hung out with prostitutes. Now that would go over big today . . . wouldn’t it?
He feed thousands with a few loaves and fishes. He changed water into very fine wine (not grape juice, but the good stuff). None of the things Jesus did was traditional in his day. For all of the praises he received, Jesus received much criticism from the leaders of his day. If you’re following His heart . . . who’s criticizing you?
If we truly following His example, then during our church services we would see healings, cast out demons, and raise people from the dead instead of worrying about sermons, Sunday school and taking up a collection. Those things are great, don’t get me wrong and it has a purpose and a place.
Do we serve man’s traditions or God’s? Jesus only tradition is that He loved the Father and us. He loved us so much that He laid down His life for us while we were yet sinners. He did nothing except what He saw the Father doing.
So is God traditional? Not in the sense that we think. I want to continue to explore God’s traditions rather than my own. I love my church the way that it is. We have a great service on Sundays, great worship, great people, and my husband delivers great sermons. We even serve lattes and donuts . . . um. But all that has its own traditions – my traditions. I know that it’s my husband’s and mine desire to seek out God’s traditions and leave room on Sundays for him to change things even if it stretches not only our people but us as well. Believe me I’ve been stretch, but have I been stretched enough? I want to continue to grow and seek Him and not be satisfied until the day I meet Him face to face.
So Lord help me not to hold on so tightly to my traditions that I would miss the new things You want to do in our mist. Help me not to get offended when You mess with me and my tiny view of who You are. Help me to seek You wholeheartedly and let me not be satisfied with the status quo.
Copyright © Nadine Z. 2006