Do you ever wonder why we do what we do, or celebrate the way we celebrate? Especially around holidays or special occasions? Why do we repeat certain activities year after year? The answer most often is that it has become a tradition. A tradition can simply be a belief or a custom. It can be information that is passed from generation to generation. These are passed on by word of mouth or by practice. Tradition could also be described as a long-established or inherited way of thinking or acting. We find traditions in cultures, in families, in religious sectors and among various people who participate or belong to special groups. These repetitious acts seem to draw one another closer as they are done time and time again.
When we peek into God’s Word there are so many traditions we can ponder. These are not just for those who lived in biblical times, but are for us to learn from as well. We must evaluate carefully what we do through Scripture. This helps to weigh whether or not what we are doing is a tradition based on truth or if it is simply something we are doing because “we’ve always” done it.
One practice found in Scripture, that was crucial for believers in Christ, was people gathering together with the purpose to celebrate what God was doing or had done in their lives. They gathered together to praise God and to pray as a united body of believers in Jesus. Today we call it “going to church.”
“And when they arrived and gathered the church together, they declared all that God had done with them, and how he had opened a door of faith to the Gentiles…” Acts 14:27
Those that gather encourage one another and offer help to those in need. Within this body of believers (often this body also has members that are seeking or want to know more about God) we find those with a gift of teaching, some would read Scriptures, some might sing praises (a worship leader) but all are gathered because the Holy Spirit is among us and we can hear of God’s great power.
“When you are assembled in the name of the Lord Jesus, and my spirit is present, with the power of the Lord Jesus,” 1 Corinthians 5:4
As a young child my parents took me to church and I learned that this was a place to hear about God and how to follow His teachings. As I grew up, I continued attending the Sunday gathering because I had always gone…but I admit I wasn’t always as faithful as I wish I had been. I went most of the time, but not always…for whatever reasons I wavered on being a committed attender of the church gathering. As a married adult with children I began learning more about God, I found a church that taught me more about God’s desire for us to celebrate His work and His goodness in our lives. Now, I can say I rarely miss a Sunday service.
I still encounter some who are believers in Christ that say I don’t need to go to church to love Jesus or have faith in God…and on the surface that is true. But my hope, my reason, for attending the assembly with other believers is that God is pleased with us when we listen to what He says is necessary and not what we say is or isn’t right. We should be careful to guard our time in this area as well. We certainly can’t be at every church event that is offered, or it may take away time we need to care for our families or marriage relationships or our homes. But, our Sunday gathering is repeatedly written about in Scripture as a tradition that should be kept and that it honors the Lord as we do this.
Holding Fast to Hope,
Scripture References: Psalm 145:5, Hebrews 10:25, Acts 14:27, 1 Corinthians 5:4