When Tradition Replaces Reality
April 25, 2022

Today’s 333 Devotional: “When Tradition Replaces Reality”

We do a lot of things in life, and seldom stop to ask why. We develop habits and traditions, and if we’re not careful, we can forget why we do certain things. The danger of familiar traditions is they will become routine and lose their intended power.

What I find amazing is that given enough time, religion can actually squeeze the life out of the reality. Throughout the centuries, religion has taken the wonderful grace that God has extended and boxed it up into meaningless and powerless rituals.

This is something the church has done to what Jesus asked for us to remember on that night of Passover when He instituted that which we now celebrate as communion.

It seemed that religion started to change the reality of what the sacrament of communion truly meant. Paul spent around 18 months in Corinth pastoring the growing church in that city. But after he left, they turned the Lord’s Supper into a boxed lunch social. They made a total mess out of this sacrament.

Paul said, “So then, when you come together, it is not the Lord’s Supper you eat, for when you are eating, some of you go ahead with your own private suppers. As a result, one person remains hungry and another gets drunk.” (1 Corinthians 11:20-21)

What was happening in the Corinthian Church is that they were gathering for a meal that had nothing to do with communion. In fact, it wasn’t even a potluck. Instead, they hoarded food for themselves and didn’t share with those in need. Further, they brought wine and getting somewhat inebriated. Their celebration brought out the worst as divisions and greed marked this sacred ceremony (1 Corinthians 11:18-19).

What probably happened was that without careful teaching and with time this celebration got out of hand, where physical sustenance replaced spiritual sustenance, and a time of remembering and celebrating Jesus’s triumph over the cross and the grave became a time of discord and self-absorption.

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