Does Ritual Have Any Value?A byproduct of my spiritual formation is a disdain for ritual. To me, a ritual is a meaningless religious activity that is mechanically performed; it is an empty ceremony and a mindless habit, devoid of substance.

This perspective is due in part to what I read in the Bible, where God repeatedly criticizes his followers for their meaningless rituals. However, I don’t think he was attacking their rituals, but their attitude behind them; after all, much of the Old Testament Law prescribed ritual.

The other reason for my dislike of ritual is that I was always repelled whenever I was expected to participate in one. It may be that I see rituals as a relic of the past, something that Jesus freed me from — or it may be nothing more than a rebellious spirit. I am even resistant to the traditional mealtime prayer because it is so hard to keep it from becoming a requisite and meaningless habit that must legalistically precede the proper ingestion of food.

However, I also know that, unlike me, many people find spiritual ritual to be an inspiring and meaningful act. Perhaps this is why some churches have a liturgical service and others do not. Different strokes for different folks.

Despite my dislike of ritual, a friend recently pointed out that I have, in fact, adopted my own rituals, which I call spiritual disciplines.

For example, I usually end and begin each day with prayer; I regularly have a time of daily Bible reading and contemplation, and I generally fast one day each week. These are my rituals, they aren’t done mindlessly, and they do hold meaning for me.When it is done right, there is value in spiritual ritual. Click To Tweet

They have become a significant part of my spiritual formation and growth. So, when done right, rituals are valuable after all.

Free Bible Reading Tip Sheet!

Bogged down reading the Bible?

Good news: there's hope! Reading the Bible can be a meaningful experience. Check out 10 Tips to Turn Bible Reading from Drudgery to Delight

Let me know your email address. Then I'll email you my free Bible reading guide and add you to my mailing list. (Unsubscribe at any time.)

Get 10 Tips to Turn Bible Reading from Drudgery to Delight today!
(No worries. I won't spam you. Unsubscribe at any time.) Powered by ConvertKit

Add Comment

What do you think? Please leave a comment!

%d bloggers like this: