• Perry Floyd

Our tradition...

The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For tho this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe. 1 Timothy 4:9-10

As a mother prepared her Easter ham, her daughter noticed that she cut off both ends of the ham before cooking it. She asked, "Mom, why do you cut the ends off?" Her mother thought, then said, "I am not sure, My mother always did it...let's call Nana and ask her." When called, Nana said the same thing, "I cut off the ends of the ham because your grandmother did it. She'd love to get a call from you..." So the daughter and mother called the great-grandma and asked her the hammy question. Grandmother's answer was, "Because I only had a small pan and the ham wouldn't fit in it." Tradition.

A young rabbi found a serious problem in his new congregation. During the Friday service, half the congregation stood for the prayers and half remained seated, and each side shouted at the other, insisting that theirs was the true tradition. Nothing the rabbi said or did helped solve the impasse. Finally, in desperation, the young rabbi sought out the synagogue's 99-year-old founder.

He met the old rabbi in the nursing home and poured out his troubles. "So tell me," he pleaded, "was it the tradition for the congregation to stand during the prayers?" "No," answered the old rabbi. "Ah," responded the younger man, "then it was the tradition to sit during the prayers." "No," answered the old rabbi.

"Well," the young rabbi responded, "what we have is complete chaos! Half the people stand and shout and the other half sit and scream." "Ah," said the old rabbi, "that was the tradition." Tradition.

Some are great, some not so great, some need to be re-examined from time to time, but we all have traditions: the way we dress, where we sit, what our holiday practices tend to be -- much of our lives are built on traditions. Paul expressed a valuable tradition to his padewon Timothy: we set our hope on the Living God, the Savior. Think about it--what is the baseline of your hope? Is it your strengths, abilities, gifts? Relationships that support you? The government? The best tradition is to place our hope for now and for eternal life solidly on Jesus Christ, the living God. As Paul wrote to his friends in Rome, "this hope does not disappoint." What is your "hope setting" today?

Following the hope tradition, Perry Floyd

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