Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Exodus: This is Our Story

The past thirty years there has been a tense debate between traditional and contemporary worship. Older people see younger people as wanting to get rid of tradition. Yet I think there is a misunderstanding over just exactly what the word "tradition" means. I would make the argument that the younger generation does not want to rid the church of tradition. In fact, I think it is quite the opposite. 

I believe that tradition can be defined as the stories that lead us away from bondage and to our destiny. They are stories that tell us about whose we are, who we are, and where we are going. 

Much of what we call "tradition" is actually in my opinion repetitive behaviors. We do these things because those that came before us did those things. We have no real concept of WHY we do them. There is no vitality in the tradition. But we keep doing it. Therefore is it really a tradition? 

This Sunday we will read about the origination of the yearly Passover celebration. This feast commemorates the Israelites freedom from the oppressive power of Pharoah onward to their destination: the promise land. For generations, each year Jewish families will retell this story to their whole family. 

Yet what makes this tradition alive is that this same God still delivers us from bondage. This same God still sustains and provides for us. This same God still redeems us. This story is OUR story! 

Birthed out of the Passover tradition is Holy Communion. This is our Passover feast. We tell the ultimate story of how Jesus Christ conquered death. We proclaim that Christ has died, Christ has Risen, and Christ will come again. It is a celebration where we recognize God's enduring presence in our own life. We get to be part of this grander story at work in the world!