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December 7, 2016, 12:00 AM

Holiday Are to Be Holy Days!


The word “holiday” is really a blend of two words, “Holy Days”!   There are many days on our calendar that are fraught with Christian ideas, concepts, images, and motivations.  Among them are Easter (Resurrection Sunday), Christmas, and Thanksgiving!  The time of Easter is to be filled with the observance of arguably the greatest event in the history of creation—the Resurrection of Jesus Christ!  This event confirms that Jesus was who He claimed to be—“Immanuel—God with us!  He was, is, and forever shall be God in the flesh!  Similarly, Christmas is the recognition of His birth.  It is for us an indicator of His physical entry into our human experience.  He was always there with the Father. Then, He condescended to us; immaculately conceived, born of a Virgin, lived a sinless life, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified and buried!  He lived as a man, although He was (is) God!  Although the Christian seeks to live in a state of perpetual Thanksgiving, during the Thanksgiving holiday, we set aside a special time of giving thanks to God for His gracious acts toward us! 

Yet, unfortunately, these days are not always celebrated as holy and sacred days!  Many times people, even some professing Christians, engage in activities or approach these times as anything else other than that which is holy! For example during Christmas, there is sometimes more of a focus on the giving gifts to each other rather than a focus on the gifts that we should present to Christ!  After all, it’s His birthday celebration.  Like the wise men who traveled from afar, we should bring gifts that reflect who is His and what He did or accomplish on our behalf.  The gold, frankincense, and myrrh represented Him as King, Sacrifice, and Priest!  Many times, we allow the world’s system and its godless priorities to invade and distort the holy emphasis that should be present! Also during Easter, many people focus on displaying new outfits, Easter eggs, and bunny rabbits!  Their minds, time, energy, and finances are consumed by these irrelevant activities.  Again, God and the Holy, the Sacred is marginalized and worldly pursuits and priorities take precedent.  Even the time of Thanksgiving does not escape this dilution.  Although the gathering of family to experience a delectable meal is not necessarily a bad thing, the problem is that often at these gatherings there is more of a focus on eating than giving thanks!  Some impatient family members may even be tempted to admonish a person to give a quick prayer so “we can eat” and miss the fact that God was again being marginalized.  Not even the exciting anticipation of a football game should be allowed to cause us to merely attach a thin veneer of spirituality on the event or to behave as if God the Giver of every good and perfect gift is an impediment to our families and/or the enjoyment of food!  After all, it is the Almighty, Gracious, Merciful, and Kind God who gave us our families, food, health, life, and strength.

What are we to do then?  We should set our minds and hearts to recover and maintain holidays as “holy days”!  When we gather to celebrate or observe these times, we should take decisive action to put God in the center! There should be a planned, focused, intentional time(s) during that “holy day” to focus on God and to encourage with whom we are sharing to do the same!  HOLIDAYS ARE TO BE “HOLY DAYS”!

 

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