Stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us.
Traditio required two steps: the owner voluntarily placing the property into the care of another, and the recipient accepting ownership.
A person who maintains intentional roots in past practices is labeled “traditional” — using the word in the pejorative sense: obsolete and old-fashioned.
When we turn away from tradition, from the past, we are left only with the present. As a result we try to recover what we’ve lost in tradition through flailing moments of intention. Mobile apps offer us help with a few minutes in the morning to control our breathing and turning habit formation into a game.
Liturgies are compressed, performed narratives that recruit the imagination through the body. — James K.A. Smith
Paul’s challenge to the Thessalonians to return to the traditions of the faith isn’t a cry to return to a nostalgic past. Quite the opposite, it was an invitation to gather strength from the saints and root their lives in something transcendent. The gospel is an invitation to community.
Yielding to tradition renews our ability to express the grace God first showed to us. Fresh experiences in tradition are a way we can experience ownership of our faith. But settling for a life unhinged from spiritual tradition is a way to deny the world has an owner and stake a claim of lordship over our own lives.