When I visit the sick at our local hospital, I am always amazed as to how caring this hospital is to its patients but also their caregivers and visitors. At the entrance and throughout the hospital, bottles of hand sanitizer are displayed for all to use. For my safety and the safety of those I visit, I always use the hand sanitizer when entering and exiting the hospital. Could this act, overtime, turn into nothing more than something I do because I have always done it, or something I do only because the product is provided?
The Jewish tradition of washing hands before eating was a good and sanitary act that, like our habit of using hand sanitizer today, prevented them from consuming germs and contaminating others as they ate. Sadly, however, this sanitary act became an obstacle for many to accept Jesus as the Messiah. They clung to it, not out of hygienic concern but, only because it was passed on to them by their elders.
When observed for the right reasons, traditions provide a solid foundation to life. When, however, they lose their real meaning in those who observe them, traditions can become that which prevents one from accepting Jesus Christ as the Messiah and following him.
Prayer: Lord Jesus Christ, help me to be grateful for the godly traditions in which my life and church are grounded, and never to lose sight of your presence and action in my life. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Stéphane Kalonji, Pastor of Reformation Lutheran Church in New Bern, NC.