More Thoughts on Another Reason for Tradition

As I continued on C.S. Lewis’ book The Business of Heaven, more thoughts began to emerge in my mind and also in the book regarding the need for traditions in a church. If the service becomes about trying to keep up with the Joneses’ with the latest worship music, sweet lights, an even sweeter sound system, and catchy movie clips, then instead of focusing our minds on things above like Paul called us to do, our attention becomes fixed on things happening in the sanctuary. The ceiling begins to serve the purpose of the ceiling by not letting anything escape. Thus, we have this created world in the sanctuary that may be visually appealing, emotionally stimulating, and quite entertaining, but nothing even resembling worship takes place. Yes, the people may learn something new. They may see some truths of God in a new way. They might even decide to make some sort of lifestyle change. But it then becomes more about the churchgoer than anything else. Lewis takes a jab at this when he writes, ‘I wish they’d remember that the charge to Peter was Feed my Sheep; not Try experiments on my rats, or even, Teach my performing dogs new tricks.’ It really is about feeding the sheep in a way that transcends the actual actions taking place within the service and pointing people onto God. If we are always trying new things in a service or always trying to stay hip, this can never take place. Lewis goes on to write, ‘I can make do with almost any kind of service whatever, if only it will stay put. But if each form is snatched away just when I am beginning to feel at home in it, then I can never make any progress in the art of worship.”

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