Holidays. For most of us the holidays present an opportunity to see family and friends. For some of us, the holidays are hard. Loneliness, the past and troubled times come to mind. The holidays can be for some a very giving time. For others it can be a very selfish time.
I have a friend, who regularly spends $1,000 each Christmas on each of his three kids. In order to do this, he must charge his credit card and hope his tax return will cover it. It’s kind of unselfish – so giving to his kids. Yet, it’s kind of selfish also to spend so much on more stuff. Please don’t mishear me. I’m not seeking to judge his decisions. Rather, I’m simply acknowledging that I’m at a different place.
I have a friend who is always upset at his family during the holidays. They didn’t make his favorite food this year, they invited extra people over that aren’t in the family circle, the weather, life, etc. always seems to get this friend down.
To me, the holidays are about more than people, food and stuff. But they certainly involve all of those things. To me the holidays are a time of rejoicing over what God has done this last year. Thanksgiving is particularly set up for that for obvious reasons. But so is Christmas and New Years if you make it that way.
God, in his infinite wisdom, set up seven feasts to be celebrated by Israel. Three of them, they were required to come to Jerusalem for. They happened according to the agrarian calendar before the planting and after the harvest. They were a way of taking a family time off, family vacation that was focused on God. Yes, they ate (for most of them). Yes, they celebrated. But the focus wasn’t on stuff. It wasn’t on food. It wasn’t on people. The focus of these holidays was on God.
Seems to me, that if Israel would have kept their focus off of themselves and their importance, and put it back rightfully on God, things would have turned out much differently for them.
I Wonder how it will turn out for us? I wonder what would happen if the holidays – Thanksgiving, Christmas, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Independence Day, etc. – were focused on God rather than on food, fun, people and stuff. Why not begin this holiday season focusing on something other than food and football?
Think about it.
1 Corinthians 10:31 (NCV) “The answer is, if you eat or drink, or if you do anything, do it all for the glory of God.”