On the first day of Unleavened Bread when the Passover lamb is sacrificed…while they were eating, [Jesus] took a loaf of bread, and after blessing it he broke it, gave it to them and said, ‘Take; this is my body.’ - Mark 14:12a&22b
We just enjoyed watching “Fiddler On The Roof” at our house the other day, and now my boys can’t stop singing “Tradition.” In the musical, Tevye cherishes his faith, his village, his family, and the traditions they all live and share. When the foundations of those traditions begin to change in a changing world, they shake him and profoundly challenge him. Yet, ultimately, he finds himself willing to try and accept new traditions.
We are about to start to (slowly) re-enter into the worship life of our church in a few weeks. As you are all aware, things will not be as they used to be when we go back. There will be many things we used to do that we won’t be doing, and we’ll need to get acclimated to experiencing our worship in a new way for a time.
Jesus asked the disciples to experience the Passover celebration in a new way, too, and build some new traditions. We take it for granted now as we share Communion together each month, but it wasn’t always the way it was done. In the face of change in a changing world, we’ve had to make adjustments to our worship and the way we are the church in these COVID days, and even as we begin to enter again into once familiar spaces, things may never quite be what they once were.
That doesn’t have to be a bad thing. New traditions can bring new ideas, new energy, and new relevance. Sometimes we might feel like Tevye, lamenting how things are changing and fighting against the tides of change with all our might. Yet with new traditions come new possibilities. Tevye, at least, was open to seeing what might happen.
In a changing world such as ours, will we do the same?
Eternal God, remind us that while our traditions are important, there is always room for building upon them in order to keep them relevant and alive in a changing world.