Then Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do your disciples break the tradition of the elders?" Matthew 15:2
We all enjoy traditions. As we head toward Easter, many of us are making plans based on traditions, traditions perhaps built up over many years. Have a special devotional focus for Lent, like this series, is a tradition, just as surely as is giving things up for Lent. The Bible teaches us that traditions are sometimes bad, sometimes good. God gives us good ways to live our lives, and the keeping of them quickly becomes a tradition. This is good, and it is biblical. The “tradition of the elders” may well have started the same, well-intentioned way. Someone wanted to keep the law well, so they made a rule to help them keep it. Then they made more rules, and started telling other people to follow them, too. Soon they had a new law (called the oral law because by the time of Jesus it had not yet been written down), a whole additional set of rules that religious people had to keep in order to be right with God. Over the centuries, these rules continued to be mandated and were taken to be authoritative, with no consideration of whether they were still useful in helping people to love God and neighbour better. Sometimes—especially in “religious season”—we need to pause and ask, “what traditions have I inherited which I keep without stopping to think whether they are helping me to better love God and my neighbour?"
Prayer – Father, I want to love you more and love my neighbour better. So in this special season of Lent, I invite you to show me, what traditions am I needing that need examination?