Monday, February 11, 2019

“Cling to Human Tradition” by Melanie Rigney (@melanierigney)

Credit: James Tissot [Public domain]
“Cling to Human Tradition” by Melanie Rigney

Thus the heavens and the earth and all their array were completed. Since on the seventh day God was finished with the work he had been doing, he rested on the seventh day from all the work he had undertaken. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it he rested from all the work he had done in creation. (Genesis 2:1-3)

O Lord, our God, how wonderful your name in all the earth! (Psalm 8:2ab)

“Well did Isaiah prophesy about you hypocrites, as it is written: This people honors me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines human precepts. You disregard God's commandment but cling to human tradition." He went on to say, "How well you have set aside the commandment of God in order to uphold your tradition!” (Mark 7:6-8)

‘Cause the players gonna play, play, play, play, play, and the haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate, baby I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake, I shake it off, I shake it off. (“Shake It Off” by Taylor Swift)

Honoring God with all my heart and mind and soul. The words are so beautiful. I’m smiling right now as I write them. Because in the abstract, who doesn’t want to do that?

The problem, as Jesus rightly points out in today’s Gospel reading, is an eternal one. It was the prophet Isaiah who accused the people of paying lip service to the Lord and then construing His desires for us into not so God-loving human traditions.

What are these traditions? Maybe they’re a little different for each of us. For me, they include judgment, criticality, a bit of arrogance masquerading as low self-esteem. Oh, sure, I love to say the pretty words about honoring God, but acting on them is difficult. It’s a lot easier to condemn someone whose point of view I don’t understand or agree with. It’s a lot easier to pretend I’m the all-knowing, all-powerful since there are times He seems content to let our fallen world continue to be, well, fallen.

Maybe this is not an issue for you. Maybe gently setting aside human tradition and honoring Him with your full heart, not just your lips, comes easily. If so, thank you… and please continue to model for the rest of us the way in which He desires to be worshiped.

Resolve to spend fifteen minutes today worshiping Him, not the false idols that have wormed their way into your soul.

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