My body no longer tolerates certain food. The simple-carb rich meals of my childhood are strictly in the past. It isn’t a hyper-diet issue. It’s a health issue.
As I planned for our yearly Easter brunch I thought about how traditions have changed out of necessity in the past two years. It dawned on me that so often when we think of the holidays our minds go back to the places established over the years. We all know people who believe they just cannot celebrate without certain traditions. When I’ve done this with food, my body pays the price.
Then it hit me. When churches do this, the “body” suffers.
We hold on to traditions in the name of ministry at the body’s expense.
The hills we die on are built with old materials that no longer feed the soul. Like yesterday’s manna and quail, we use old rotting food that does damage. The nourishment and health are set aside in order to hold onto the past.
You know what? Our traditions were new once. The hymns filling cathedrals were as new as the choruses in rented gymnasiums.
Once upon a time there were no retreats and game nights and breakfasts and scrapbook parties. The early church met in homes with no pews or organs or bass guitars. We once wore dresses, gloves and hats when we entered the sanctuary.
As lovely as all of those things have been, if we hold onto them tighter than we hold onto Jesus we’ll find ourselves with sickly bodies. We won’t notice how ill we’ve become.
Paul talks about those who don’t graduate to meat but stick with milk. It applies here.
Our churches need to be willing to chew on something solid. Try something new and different and nourishing.
We need to get face to face in order to reach heart to heart. We need to find the needs of those in our midst and meet them.
Jesus healed on the Sabbath. It wasn’t just against tradition, it was against the law. Jesus bucked traditions
If an argument includes “But we ALWAYS do it this way” it’s time to move on. Jesus never asked us to be comfortable, He asked us to love Him first, love others next and in this we will fulfill His calling.
If I continued to eat the way I always had, my health would continue to decline.
Is this the state of the Church? Are the old things no longer bringing health?
What if we try something different? Something unfamiliar but rooted deeply in the simplicity of the Word. The pure Gospel that tells us to love Him and in turn each other.
He tells us that we are fed by doing His will.
Even Jesus said, “My food is to do what my Father sent me to do. My food is to finish his work. 35 “You say, ‘Four months more, and then it will be harvest time.’ But I tell you, open your eyes! Look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest right now. 36 Those who gather the crop are already getting paid. They are already harvesting the crop for eternal life. So those who plant and those who gather can now be glad together. 37 “Here is a true saying. ‘One plants and another gathers.’ 38 I sent you to gather what you have not worked for. Others have done the hard work. You have gathered the benefits of their work.”
It’s time to pick up our baskets and gather what is ready now. No more waiting on committees and budget meetings for approval.
I’m no longer waiting for permission to serve or minister or reach out or bless or pray. Jesus already gave us that permission.
Let’s step over the broken ruins to carry broken souls to a waiting Savior. The harvest of healing is as fresh as morning manna and it’s a feast waiting for you and me.