The Tradition of Neglect

October 3, 2016

Do you have traditions? You see, it's that time of year when we start with
traditions that are done every year, because they have become "traditions".
For instance, fall is in the air, Halloween things are in the stores.
Thanksgiving things are in the stores, and actually so are Christmas things.
I walked into one store and the section that is set aside for scary monsters
and fake pumpkins and everything orange and black have taken over.   Now, I
don't celebrate Halloween, but do not judge those who do, but Thanksgiving
is a day I have always looked forward to, but even now the tradition seems
to have changed.  I find myself a little sad at that.  But is it important
that traditions be continued?  What are they in the heart?  Jesus and His
disciples were accused by the Pharisees and Scribes of "breaking the
tradition of the elders." Because they didn't wash their hands prior to
eating, as was a tradition, and honestly still one today. But Jesus turned
around and said this: "And why do you break God's commandment because of
your traditions? For God said: Honor your father and your mother, and The
one who  speaks evil of father or mother must be put to death. But you say,
'Whoever tells his father or mother, 'Whatever benefit you might have
received from me is a gift committed to the temple' - he does not have to
honor his father. In this way, you have revoked God's word because of your
tradition." Matthew 15:1-9  Jesus pointed out to them that traditions took
the place in the Pharisees hearts over God's word.  Things that were done so
long because, 'that's just the way things have always been done,' missed the
boat over the real reason for the tradition.  For instance, do you celebrate
Halloween just because you celebrated it as a child and there are children
running around all over that night, and your children want to be involved in
that same tradition?  So you celebrate, but do you really know why you
celebrate?  Does it contradict the word of God? Is it safe for the children
and the adults.  I think more adults are getting into dressing up in crazy
costumes more than the children.  What do you give up to honor the
tradition?  Now Thanksgiving, that's a pretty good holiday, but are you
doing it because you are truly thankful, or because, 'it's what you have
always done?'  I propose we make a NEW TRADITION this year.  Yep! one in
which you will be doing every year for the rest of your lives, and one you
will pass on to your children.  I propose you celebrate your commitment to
our Lord.  I propose every holiday that we have celebrated in the past, we
take a new approach and ask ourselves, 'Does this honor God?'   I want to be
starting traditions that bring glory and honor to the Lord, instead of just
becoming a tradition of man.  Why not make our traditions our reasons to
celebrate our relationship with Christ.  I think we might just start a new
tradition, one in which we are pleased to look forward to because it honors
the Lord.  But, I wonder!  If we started that, would we then start to wait
for that one time of the year when we celebrated our relationship with
Christ, and forget about Him the rest of the year?  Traditions have a habit
of doing that.  It's like having so many children that you celebrate all
birthdays on one day of the year to incorporate all of the children. After a
while you forget when their real birthday is.  Jesus finished His response
to the Pharisees and the Scribes by calling them hypocrites and saying this:
These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. They
worship Me in vain, teaching as doctrines the commands of men."  Let's make
sure the "TRADITIONS" we pass on do not revoke the very word of God, and
cause us to forget WHY we celebrate in the first place.

Pastor Andy

Heavenly Father, I pray for hearts to be turned to You. I pray that
everything we celebrate by tradition, turns into a celebration of praise to
You. I pray that You will be honored by our lives and the way we honor You.
For those who struggle with loss or health issues or circumstance, I pray,
Father, that You will give them rest. I pray that You will give them peace,
and that Your comfort will envelope them to receive comfort.  I pray for:
Mike, whose dad passed, and now has to plan two memorial services, instead
of one. Lord, give him strength. I pray for Greyson, who sprained his arm,
for a girl gone missing in Saginaw. I continue to pray for Don, Lynn,
Dwight, Sammie, the Foster family, Fuqua family, Reed family, Isabel, Angie,
Vanessa, Malachi, Corbin, Ryan, Olivia, Jeremiah, Joanna, Tom, Evelyn, Joy,
Ruth, Robbie, Ada, Nada, JV, Nancy, Betty H., Terry and his dad, Tim and his
mother, Shelly and her mom, Julissa and her friend, Kelly and her son, Pam
and her son, Richard and his father, Ben and his family, the Briggs church,
Ben, Ramona, Tracy, Abraham, Elijah, Japheth, Mike, Megan, Jeff, Laura,
Matt, Liz, Matt, Bethany, Tim, Michelle, Carmello, Kaitlyn, Tonia, Todd,
Liam, Aiden, Jackie Ann, Pastor Berkey, Adrian, Alan, Fisher, Tuly, Betsy,
Tyler, Kristen, Trevor, Maria, Choya, Alex, Ken, Eric, Sandy, Andrea,
Shannon, Robert, Pat, Ryan, Tyson, Wendy, Montella, Joyce, Betty, David,
Phyllis Devon, Cindy, Barbara, Terri, Marliana, Loren, Cynthia, Bill,
Carolyn, BJ, Ida, Barry, Johnny, Annette, Kim, Gary, Gavin, Shawn, Laurie,
Gary, Heather, Codi, Ron, Deane, Dan, Rheba, Pam, Mike, Austin, Harriet,
Gus, Lisa, Alice, Dotty, Fred, Mike S., James, Scott, April, Craig, Betty,
Hunter, Asher, Lynette, Kathy, Jennifer, Patrick, Candace, Abe, Tent,
Garret, Mayeaux, Ben, Jason, Ashley, Marc, Macy, Jake, Bob, Lisa.  I pray
that the very way we honor You will become our tradition, a tradition of
love and joy as we seek to live lives that reflect Your glory, and the very
blessing You pour out over us.  I pray this in Jesus name. Amen.

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