Which way do we go?

I am struck by the value of tradition and the need to move ahead into the future with a sense of trust and openness. This is especially noticeable in our politics and our Churches. I will say without hesitation that faith as connect with God, is the only way to go forward into a world that is changing very quickly and, in some ways, becoming more dangerous. The quest then for each of us is how and where I find direction; some way to make sense of what is going on and where I and we are headed.
Tradition is the sense of meaning we get from the ways things used to be. Tradition is the way of doing things and seeing things that is handed down over the years and, in some cases, generations. Traditions work for many because they are seen as unchanging. Tradition helps us make sense of change by using standards that worked in the past as we go forward. If it worked back then, it has got to work going forward. That is basically saying that what was must be what is now. I am not sure life works that way. Sometimes looking back while being forced to go forward causes us to trip.
So the question then becomes, how do I make sense of what’s going on; how do I handle the quick moving change. When God entered human existence through Jesus the Christ, a new way of dealing with differences became clear. Let me give you an example.
Lepers in Jesus’s time were traditionally labeled sinners. Lepers used to call out in the streets, “I am a leper. Stay away. Stay away.” And people did. Along comes Jesus (God-come-down). He sees a leper and hears their call to stay away and goes and embraces them. A new way of living and loving. It took grace, the presence of the living God, for Jesus to go against tradition and make a difference in someone else’s life. We will be exploring the implications of Grace and what it all means in this blog.
So let me lay it out for you—for you to ponder.
The ways of tradition and the ways of grace that God in the person of Christ revealed are often, not always, the same. As we shall see later faith and tradition do not always coincide or work in the same direction.
Off for two weeks. See you in August

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