Traditions: Milestone or Millstone

A milestone is not something that we see now. I can’t even think of a place that still has them. They were stones set up along the road to mark each mile. The serve the same purpose as mile makers on the interstate. As a kid I remember watching the mile markers as I kept track of how far to our exit. Though we don’t see milestones anymore we understands their purpose to measure distance.

A millstone has a completely different purpose. In old mills there were two stones used together for grinding up wheat or corn. The lower stone that is stationary and the upper stone that moves around on lower. Big heavy things millstone are. Not something you can just toss around. Jesus mention that you would drown with a millstone hung around your neck and tossed into a lake.

Now to explain what milestones and millstones have to do with traditions. Traditions in church life can be milestones that mark where they have come from and how far they have come. Those are good traditions. Traditions can also be millstones that weight the church down. Hold it back from reaching the goals that Jesus desires for the church. If the traditions gets to big they can crush a church out of existence.

So what is a milestone tradition and what is a millstone tradition. There is no clear answer to that question. For each church that is different. A tradition in one church because of its community might be a milestone. Where as in another church the same tradition is crushing the life out the church.

So what we need to do is to constantly examine ourselves and our church to see if we are holding onto something that is crushing us or is it marking our path. The best thing to do is when a tradition is questioned is to go back to the Scripture and see if it is Biblical and then get on our knees and talked to God about it. We don’t want to cling to something that is getting in the way of us serving Jesus both corporally as a church and individually.