This weekend is filled with traditions for my family. Wednesday night we went to church as we do every year to worship and give thanks for the blessings God has rained down upon us. Thursday we went to my parents’ house in Sioux City to celebrate Thanksgiving with my family. Today and the rest of this weekend is filled with decorating for Christmas as we do every year.
It seems the turnover from one HOLYday to the next goes more and more quickly each year, especially with Black Friday now turning into Black Thursday. Traditionally on Christmas Eve after the children went to bed was when the tree was set up. The twelve days of Christmas began with Christmas when everyone celebrated the arrival of the King. Advent was not a time to sing Christmas songs, but rather songs and hymns anticipating the arrival of the King.
Now, I do not get my undies in a bunch over whether we celebrate Christmas before or after December 25. Or whether or not Thanksgiving should be celebrated from November 1 until the day of Thanksgiving or through Thanksgiving weekend.
There is a Greek theological term, adiaphora, which means things neither commanded nor forbidden (things indifferent). “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength” (Mark 12:30 NIV) is a command. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved” is another command. Yet there is no command after the coming of the New Covenant (after Jesus instated the Lord’s super, died, rose again, and ascended) on how or when to celebrate HOLYdays. That is adiaphora: neither commanded nor forbidden.
Even so, it rather saddens me to see the world rushing from one HOLYday to the next, one event to the next, without taking the time to meditate on how God has intersected in their lives, or contemplating the blessings God has given them. I know at times I am guilty of doing just that.
In the Old Testament God commanded the people to set aside specific days to worship and make sacrifices to him so that they might remember and glorify the Sovereign God. While those worship celebrations are no longer commanded by God in the light of Jesus’ sacrifice which completed all of the Old Testament ceremonial law, they do give Christians a picture of what it means to designate specific times throughout the year to worship and glorify God. When the ancient Hebrews did so, they were brought into intimate communion with him, and this is a gift he desires for us to have also.
I long to also be a part of that intimate communion. Therefore as Thanksgiving becomes a memory and Christmas approaches. I plan to be active in worship, set aside time to read and meditate on the meaning of Christ’s coming, and pray for Jesus’ presence in my life and the lives of others. The gift I hope to give this season is the gift of intimate communion with God: for myself and by inspiring others to receive that gift also.
Will you join me?
In His Love,