HOLIDAYS OR HOLY DAYS?
It is that time of year – the Holiday Season. Everywhere you go it sounds like the holidays: “Frosty the Snowman”; “Jingle Bells”; “Walking in a Winter Wonderland.” Classics, to say the least, to put us in the mood. Wait, mood for what? In the December 2, 2020 issue of Market Watch we are impressed to learn that this Cyber Monday was the biggest and best ever. A new record was set with $10.8 billion purchased online alone. $106.5 billion in sales over all, up 27%. This news should certainly spark even more sales, presents and lights throughout the season. But, more and more our culture and world have shoved the Advent out of the season.
Holiday or Holy Day: what’s the difference? It’s just all part of the fun and celebration. Certainly, there is not really anything wrong with parties, presents and lights. But, have we also shoved aside our times of worship and holiness in the process of engaging in the others? What should be important in our lives according to God? We turn to Scripture for answers.
Leviticus – Holiness, not happiness is the goal. “Holy” from the Old English halig and the Latin word sanctus. These refer to wholeness, being set apart for God and consecrated/sanctified. We are called to be like God in our nature - defilement gone, erased, God’s perfect nature at work in us accomplishing His perfect will. The book of Leviticus sets before us a Holy God, a Holy Priesthood, a Holy People, a Holy Land and a Holy Savior. How well do we utilize our holidays to honor our God?
Luke – (2:8-12) Awe has become a watered-down concept in today’s world. Just about everything is said to be “awesome” and “perfect.” These words get so over-used that they have lost their meaning and effect. When you order your choice of coffee, the wait person says, “perfect.” When you accomplish even a menial task, you are “awesome.” Compare this to the shepherds that Luke writes about. At Christ’s birth, they were filled with awe and wonder at the announcement alone. Their eyes were opened to see and hear the angel’s chorus (verse 13).
Matthew – Joy (2:10-12). Matthew writes that the Magi were overjoyed to present their gifts after traveling so far to witness the Christ child. This level of joy is defined as full, exceedingly great and uncontrollable. This certainly reveals their priorities.
Our priorities lead us to either oppose or cooperate with God in His will and in His plans for us, as it was with the Magi. And as with the shepherds, God should receive the glory from our responses. He has placed awe in us to be seen by those around us.
Are you actively planning how to display God’s gift of the Savior to those around? It is OK to be excited by the new present under the tree you received. But really, how important is the new dress, latest-greatest tool, or even the new car for those around you to see? Our families, communities, our nation, our world, need much more to be introduced to Jesus, God’s Son, the Savior.
Make your plan on how this can be accomplished by you and your family this Holy Day season.
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