I heard this story recently and thought it rather amusing. It is of secular origin but I could see how well it could be applied to a church setting. I triggered it’s telling by saying to my companion that you could easily see the truth of the scripture teaching that says that the sins of the fathers are visited even unto the fourth and fifth generations. We had a short discussion on the subject after I which I added that you did not have to be a Christian to see the truth of this, it could be put into a secular contest and equally be understood by an atheist or pagan. My companion agreed and added that he could give me a short analogy to illustrate the point and would also demonstrate that things are perpetuated when no one knows why it started.
– There was this little girl watching her mother preparing the Sunday roast. When her mother cut a piece off both ends of the joint the little girl asked her why she had done that and the answer was that her own mother had always done it that way. So when the little girl saw her grandma she asked her the question and got the reply her own mother had given. As it happened her great grandma was still around to be asked the question. When she repeated the question to great grandma, the response was that the roasting tin was too small!
After a bit of chuckle about it I thought of the familiar old phrase that is frequently used in churches. Sadly often used as a reason for continuation, it is “we’ve always done it this way”. It really cannot be true or we would have no heating in church, no modern toilets, kitchens, hot and cold water, and no new hymn books. The list is endless. Change is all part of life of we would still be wearing nappies. An older hymn starts with the line, from Scripture, “Everything changes but God changes not”. The God of the New Testament is the God of the Old Testament (although some seem to believe otherwise) the God of the mountain when all is going well in our lives is still the God of the really rough storm when things are going badly. It took a child’s natural curiosity to unearth the origins of what she did not understand about her mum’s cooking technique. S’cuse me, but I cannot resist adding “Thank Heavens for Little Girls………”