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The Veil of Tradition

“And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18


A life of traditions

Traditions are an integral part of life. They enrich holidays, family events, religious practices and much more. My favorite tradition centers on Christmas, having been passed down by my grandparents. On Christmas morning we would wake up our parents and, before seeing the tree, return to our bedrooms to wait for the best Christmas song ever, “Sleigh Ride” by the Boston Pops. Just thinking about it causes butterflies in my stomach. My two older brothers and I would stand together at the door, listening and waiting. Once we heard the first notes, we would burst through the door and run into the room to see the gifts under the tree. Zach and I do the same Christmas tradition with our children.

The good and the bad

Traditions usually conjure up great memories but some traditions bring hard feelings, hurt and regret. Traditions can give pleasurable or haunting feelings. In the classic story of The Count of Monte Cristo, Edmond Dantes is whipped in prison on the anniversary of his imprisonment. What a negative and harsh tradition! Unfortunately, negative traditions do occur.

Removing the veil

Behind the veil of tradition, evil can reside and run amuck. Allow God to remove the veil of tradition and illumine areas covered in darkness. God is love and wants to dispel evil from your life. He can bring light to dark areas, but you must take action. Second Corinthians 3:18 is a key for removing the veil of tradition. Paul writes,

With unveiled faces….”

Not like Moses who veiled his face and not by being veiled in unbelief, yet with unveiled faces behold the glory of God. Come to Him by the leading of the Spirit and begin changing into Christ’s likeness. Traditions can veil you from beholding God’s glory and can stand in your way of transformation.

Old traditions may need to end. New traditions may need to be introduced into your home. God is holy and worldly traditions should stop. God is love and hates evil. Any evil tradition must end.

Literal veils

When Zach and I arrived in Jerusalem, the veiled faces of the neighborhood struck my attention. Sudan was a place of veiled faces but here was a new set of traditional coverings. Within Islam, women cover their heads and, in extremely conservative families, cover head and face, feet and hands. We now live among Muslims and Jews. The traditional head covering for Jews impacts both men and women. Second Corinthians 3:18 has become a great verse to share with others. Be unveiled!

The cost of unveiling

Jesus gave his life for your unveiling. Upon His death on the cross, the veil in the temple was torn in two. This was not an accident. Could God Himself have ripped the veil, screaming: “Enough with veils and traditions! Look to Me without veils. I am directly available.” At that moment God put an end to a veil of tradition in the temple. You should strive for the same thing.

The challenge

Prayerfully consider your traditions. Take time over the course of a year and examine events and holidays. What place does traditions have in your life? Have you allowed a tradition to have greater significance than God? God wants to rip the veil in two and bring you closer to him. Unveil your life of worthless traditions that separate you from God.

How has the veil of tradition affected you? Share your comments below.

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