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Friday, January 29, 2010

Is Ritual and Ceremony Important to God?

I was challenged over Christmas by a family member who said that ritual and ceremony were not important to God, only your relationship to Him is important. .

Let's just look at our relationship with God. If I treat God at least the way that I treat my beloved friends and family, I would find out more about Him. What are His habits, likes and dislikes, what kind of information do I have to base my relationship with this all-important person in my life?

Well I have the Bible and some other early writings of people who knew Jesus Christ first or even second-hand. If I start in the Bible, in the Old Testament i come to places where God specifically called for ritual and ceremony, He ordered a place of meeting, at first a tent, then later a building or temple. He also ordered statuary and vessels for the ceremonies. He proscribed the way that He was to be worshiped and adored in the tent or temple. Hmmm. Well, you ask, I thought Jesus did away with all that stuff?

Let's look at Jesus, He went to the temple and he had a Bar-Mitzvah, and he read his Half-Torah. He went to the temples first to preach until they threw Him out. He kept passover, we know this for certain and He honored the local marriage Ceremony with his presence also.

What about His followers did they seem to think that ceremony and ritual was now passe"? Well when we look at our earliest record of Jesus followers they risked their lives to get together for mass(breaking bread together).

I would conclude that in my relationship with Jesus Christ, I better get on board and embrace Ritual and Ceremony.

6 comments:

Andrew Clarke said...

If ritual and ceremony are intended to bring the worshipper closer to God, instead of just preserving tradition, then they serve a good purpose. Perhaps that's the test to apply to any ceremony or ritual: what is it intended to do. I think you're right about this: God has certain ways of doing things, and we as His family and followers should know this and act on it.

makemeaspark said...

Yes Andrew, I think that is Why God left us the legacy of the Church. Similarly statues and images help us put our focus on the things of God and off from worldly pursuits. As a woman i did not realize how much more important this is to men, who are more image oriented.

The rituals and ceremonies of the Church were adopted from the ritual and ceremony that God established for the Jewish people by the apostles, they adapted them for what became the New Religion of Christianity.

In the first Century they still thought they were Jews and there was a lot of discussion in Acts as to what they were and how they should proceed. Peter, as head of the New Church saw that they must establish new patterns to accommodate the gentiles that were converting.

Bob West said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elizabeth Mahlou said...

I think that we tend to forget that Jesus was a Jew, and a Jew who observed the spiritual traditions of his family and community.

makemeaspark said...

You are right Elizabeth, that is why so many prayers, rituals and rites in the Orthodox and Catholic mass are from Jewish prayers and rituals. Our first Bishops and the Pope were Jews and did not even think of themselves as a new Church at first. They only adopted Sunday worship after divine revelation instructed them to celebrate the Resurrection day.

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