Traditions can be healthy. They can be used to advance spiritual good. We have an example of this in the Bible, when Jesus dealt with the ritual of baptism.

Jesus came to John the Baptist, at the River Jordan, to be baptized. John resisted. He felt Jesus should baptize him instead. Jesus said, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.”[1]

At this point, baptism became more meaningful. It became a mindful experience. John or Jesus weren’t the primary figures, God was. John and Jesus embraced humility and acknowledged a love and reverence for a Higher Power.

The event in turn was marked with peace and a powerful message from Spirit. “And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.’”[2]

Rituals are unavoidable. We eat, we go to jobs, we participate in ceremonies, and we bend to hierarchies. As long as traditions don’t become ego trips or mechanical nonsense, a higher ideal can infuse these practices with holy purposes.

[1] Matthew 3:15

[2] Matthew 3:16-17; Mark 1:10-11; Luke 3:22; John 1:32-34


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