Tread Lightly

When He said, “A new covenant,” He has made the first obsolete. But whatever is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to disappear. – Hebrews 8:13

No one likes to be told that he or she has been doing things the wrong way, especially when he thought he was doing things right! God, through His prophets, informed Israel that the old covenant was temporary, and that a day would one day arrive when it would be replaced by one that is new and eternal. Of course, all the Israelites had ever known was God’s promise to Abraham. It wasn’t “old” to them at all. In fact, it defined them as a people and culture. It gave them an identity.

We face “old culture” challenges every day. What once had meaning can easily become empty ritual and the answer is to reinvest, renew, or simply replace old, “dead” practices with meaningful, heartfelt, authentic activity. God’s new covenant in Christ Jesus didn’t ignore the old, it validated it as its predecessor. New traditions can do the same.

Let us remember, however, that (for some) tradition will always be an issue of identity, not theology. Tread lightly.

I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy Ghost; Christianity without Christ; forgiveness without repentance; salvation without regeneration; politics without God; and Heaven without Hell. – William Booth

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