Sometimes as an outsider, before I became a follower of Jesus, I thought churches did weird things! Why do they all drink this little cup of juice and eat a tiny bite of cracker together? What’s with the singing all together, are they a school choir or something? Why do they dunk each other under water, fully clothed, in front of everybody?
So many things that we do as followers of Jesus can look odd to the “outsider”. Like Baptism and Communion, which we celebrated both of this past weekend at Alive. Ritual and tradition of any form can seem odd to a person that is not a part of that tradition. If we look back at the Israelites before the time of Jesus, we see lots of “cultural norms” for them that were definitely NOT a part of all the communities around them. Celebrating what they called Passover, being Kosher, having a Sabbath day…and many more! What we find in their history is that celebrating these traditions helped them pass their stories of faith down to the next generation and these traditions originated out of a situation where GOD SHOWED UP in their lives, so these ultimately these experiences were a connection point with God. BUT like any tradition that may have originally been intended for good, it can just become rote repetition with NO meaning and can likely become the THING that makes a person feel like they have it all together, or that they are spiritually on point if you will.
Can you imagine how hard it was for the people of that day to hear Jesus say, the old traditions are gone and the new has come! Many of the religious leaders had become so pious in their ritual and tradition that they were completely incensed that someone would speak in such a way! That was a HUGE cultural change that Jesus was laying before the people. THAT HE was the sacrifice that would take on the penalty for their sin and separation from God. TO THIS POINT, the people were having to sacrifice one of their best animals at an altar for God, not just once a year, but many times! And here comes this guy who says THAT ALL CHANGES! I’m sure it blew their minds!
Now, some traditions are GREAT and doing things to remember what someone has done for you is an amazing reminder to keep your perspective in the right place. THAT reminder is what the tradition of Communion is for a follower of Jesus. The simple act of drinking the little bit of juice and eating the cracker, remind us of what God did for us through Jesus on the cross! That we have direct access to HIM through accepting that Jesus died and rose again and is the Son of God!
If you have never understood the whole point of Jesus and why we followers are so EXICITED about Him…please connect…would love to introduce you to the NEW LIFE you could have in Jesus.
To check out our services this past weekend…and experience some “weird” church traditions click here!!