Amanda and I were invited to attend a community Seder at a local synagogue tonight. A Seder is a Jewish ceremonial dinner recognizing the bondage and freedom of the Jews from Egypt.
Not only was the service and dinner educational and informative, but it was also very eye opening for me.
The Jewish culture is very beautiful - full of rich, meaningful traditions. Everything we did tonight during the dinner had significance - from the way we broke our matzos to the way we dripped our wine onto our plates ten times to represent the ten plagues of Egypt.
My experience tonight made me want to dig into the rich traditions of my own faith - many of which are rooted in the Jewish traditions of old.
For a lot of years, I almost "shunned" traditions of faith, being taught that tradition was wrong because it "replaces a genuine relationship with God."
I don't believe that anymore.
Sure, tradition CAN become a substitute for a real life relationship with our Creator. But how rich can tradition be when mixed together with true, genuine relationship?
It's not the tradition itself that causes us problems. In fact, it's just the opposite - tradition, when put into its proper perspective, can strengthen our faith. It can give us an experience and perspective of faith that will allow us to engage into an even deeper relationship with God.
I think the problem occurs when the tradition becomes more valued than the relationship itself. But that's pretty much up to us if that is going to happen.
I felt honored to be able to paritipate in such a rich tradition tonight. I connected with God while worshipping alongside a room full of beautiful Jewish people. It makes sense I guess... We're all worshipping the same God.
Monday, April 5