Most of us have grown up with some understanding of Christian holidays, most notably Christmas, Good Friday, and Easter. The fact that these events have merged with other worldly ideals and rituals is for another post. I’m not too concerned with how you celebrate, my aim is to encourage each reader to consider what and why we celebrate. Spring and winter are big times we celebrate together. Family, relatives, friends, churches, communities, nations and the world- we all get together at varying levels for various reasons and all do it differently. Let me preface everything I say with one categorical statement- celebrating anything Biblical together is a good thing at any time.
Now, to most, Christian or not, these days signify a gathering of family, fun times with friends/relatives, going on holiday, lots of great cooking, binging on desserts, and chocolatey treats (Isn’t it great that we get to do that ?? I love it!) If you’re Christian too, we add church services, special events, and dressing up (or not depending on your background) along with all or some of the above. In the whole mix, Jesus, often just happens to be a good excuse to have a good time on days the whole working world ( for the most part) allows people to stay home.
Somewhere in there, are those who devoutly follow the Christian calendar and take time to consider the relevance each holiday has for their personal lives while doing all or some of the above. I would hope that most Christians could say they fall into this category. The truth though, is that some Christians just never know to do that. Some of us just grew up around the cultural celebration, went to a church service and then carried on with our lives. It is not a criticism of individuals but an observation on the general state of ‘Christian’ culture . Each holiday season has lots to offer, but can never offer anything close to the worth of knowing Jesus more.
Paul puts it like this: “Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ” (Philippians 3:8 ESV)
At this time of the year, I would like to gently urge each of us to consider not just the ‘reason for the season’, because we can get by that one quite easily by saying “it’s Jesus”. I would ask that we all take time to consider- “What did Jesus really do? how does it make a difference in my life today?” Having done that, and continually doing that on days that are not a holiday, we will become people who are firstly grateful for salvation each day. Secondly, we see the relevance of Christ to our daily living. Thirdly, we always learn to depend on the work of Jesus and not ourselves each day. The list goes on as you see your daily life changed.
We can enjoy all the things a public holiday affords us, but let us be people who celebrate Jesus every day. Nothing beats getting to know God more on a holiday dedicated to Him or on any other day for that matter. We need to teach and show our children why we celebrate Jesus and what He has done( and make it exciting, not religious). Otherwise, we will raise a generation of holiday junkies who think the words ‘friends’, ‘family’ and ‘fun’ trump ‘fellowship with God’ or worse still, we raise a generation that think knowing God is just boring religion.
Celebrate this season according to your culture and tradition and have good fun (passing all fun and tradition through the lens of scripture). I hope that you take away a passion to celebrate Jesus by knowing Him more and not a legalistic mindset to look more Christian. Jesus is worth shouting about seven days a week, all 52 weeks of the year, and on leap years. So, let’s celebrate Jesus today….and every other day too.