Be Still . . .
Devotionals for Daily Living©

Then the Lord said,
“Because this people draw near
with their words
And honor Me with their lip service,
But they remove their hearts far from Me,
And their reverence for Me
Consists of tradition learned by rote,
(Isaiah 29:13 (unknown))

I had the honor of seeing a tradition this evening. It was a right of passage. My sixteen year old son and many of his classmates went through a ceremony in which they received their high school class rings. I honestly doubt that any of the junior class nor their parents will forget the moment that they opened up the boxes and put the rings on their fingers. It is a tradition that many schools have been honoring since the first class rings were ordered by West Point graduates in 1835.

Some traditions are a good thing. They anchor us in our past. They provide guidance for our future. This give us a point of reference on which to reflect and base our lives. Unfortunately, too many of our traditions have become rote memorization.

I am not speaking of the once in a lifetime traditions such as class ring ceremonies, graduations, or weddings. I am speaking of the ones that we repeat every Sunday when we attend a church worship service.

How would your spouse respond if you went through a memorized speech about how much you love them? How would you soon respond in your heart if you said this same speech over and over again? It would be recited out of memory and not out of love. It would be recited out of duty instead of desire. It would be a tradition that would soon lose its meaning.

We, as the body of Christ, must be careful not to fall into this category. We must look upon each worship service as something new and exciting. We must come with the desire in our hearts to renew our faith and love of God the Father, Jesus the Son, and the Holy Spirit. We must never simply provide lip service. We must never simply recite something out of tradition. We must take each word and each service and completely dedicate it to God in all of His Glory, in all of His triune majesty.

Stop and look deep inside. Stop and reflect upon the words that you sing. Stop and reflect upon the words that you recite.

Don’t allow your worship to simply become a tradition.

Copyright 1998 – 2009 Dennis J. Smock
Daily Living Ministries, Inc.
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