Prayer 7:13 Prayer 713
North Highland United Methodist Church
Wednesday, January 17, 2018
Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Doors

September 2013

Blending Traditions
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8
Many Facebook posts the past couple of weeks remind us that there are traditions that have been repeated faithfully through the generations. Kids of all ages are still posed as cameras everywhere snap to capture the memory of another first day of school. And this picture also reminds me that some traditions are perhaps best left behind--in particular this 1960’s childhood hair-do!
 
Here at North Highland UMC we are gearing up to be back in full swing with our own back-to-school year activities—and it is truly an exciting time of the year. The founder of the Methodist Movement, John Wesley, first began to teach children back in 1738 while a missionary in Georgia. I wonder how many times Sunday School traditions have evolved in the past 275 years—how about in the years since some of us were the age to pose for first day of school pics?
 
This year we will also continue a tradition of a Confirmation class. A time of preparation to “embrace their vocation—the calling of God to live and witness to the reign of God announced in Jesus Christ.” That’s a quote from the official United Methodist information pages. Reminisce for a moment—have confirmation traditions changed over the years? A more thoughtful question might be to ask ourselves how are we, who have been through the traditions of a Confirmation service living and witnessing to the reign of God announced in Jesus Christ? Have we continued to build upon and expand what we learned?
Many traditions within the institutionalized church remind us that there is something larger than ourselves. Church is a place where we do not hang on to tradition simply for the sake of tradition, but a place where we build upon who we have been through the ages and who we are today, to allow everyone to have opportunity to experience the sacred. I hope that gives way to as much excitement within you as it does within me! From hair-do styles to curriculum styles to worship styles we evolve and blend old traditions with new traditions. But the message of who Jesus Christ calls us to be in the world never changes!
 
Blessings, Pastor Lou