Holidays– What are we celebrating?

So many traditions are involved in different holidays around the world.  There are celebrations that involve fireworks. There are celebrations that involve worship. There are celebrations that involve parades. There are celebrations that involve feasts. There are celebrations that involve gift giving. There are celebrations based on our religions. There are celebrations that involved a country’s independence. There are celebrations that cross international lines and others are only held in one country. 

1441315_10152443596354418_1972511015_nWhat makes a holiday so important to someone?  It is that person’s traditions built up over the years during a particular holiday. When you country celebrates the birth of a king or president, you may only know because you get the day off of school or work.  But other holidays are celebrated with feasts and friends and family and unique things.

Think about what holidays are important where you work.  Are they national or religious?  If they are religious, do other religions recognize that day or treat their friends well?  I once received a huge cake for Easter from a Muslim friend. 

_42282160_churchmosque_afp_203If the holiday is based on a religion is it celebrated in the church, mosque, synagogue or temple?  Easter is a Christian Holiday but do we celebrate in worship with our fellow saints? Or do we feast and have fun with friends and family almost forgetting that our Lord died on that weekend?

Seeing many different traditions around the world, opens your eyes.  You begin to analyze the traditions you  hold and think what is really important.  If we are celebrating Christ’s birth, do we do that in church? Do we even make mention of the real reason for the day or do we celebrate without worship? 

  I have a tree, and cookies, and feast and friends and family and gifts all for Christmas. But I will also celebrate at church with my  fellow saints.  I will spend a majority of my time on Christmas and Christmas eve remembering and rejoicing with others. That happens to be tradition where I currently live, and you know it seems to be a good one! What about you?

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Holidays– What are we celebrating?

So many traditions are involved in different holidays around the world.  There are celebrations that involve fireworks. There are celebrations that involve worship. There are celebrations that involve parades. There are celebrations that involve feasts. There are celebrations that involve gift giving. There are celebrations based on our religions. There are celebrations that involved a country’s independence. There are celebrations that cross international lines and others are only held in one country. 

1441315_10152443596354418_1972511015_nWhat makes a holiday so important to someone?  It is that person’s traditions built up over the years during a particular holiday. When you country celebrates the birth of a king or president, you may only know because you get the day off of school or work.  But other holidays are celebrated with feasts and friends and family and unique things.

Think about what holidays are important where you work.  Are they national or religious?  If they are religious, do other religions recognize that day or treat their friends well?  I once received a huge cake for Easter from a Muslim friend. 

_42282160_churchmosque_afp_203If the holiday is based on a religion is it celebrated in the church, mosque, synagogue or temple?  Easter is a Christian Holiday but do we celebrate in worship with our fellow saints? Or do we feast and have fun with friends and family almost forgetting that our Lord died on that weekend?

Seeing many different traditions around the world, opens your eyes.  You begin to analyze the traditions you  hold and think what is really important.  If we are celebrating Christ’s birth, do we do that in church? Do we even make mention of the real reason for the day or do we celebrate without worship? 

  I have a tree, and cookies, and feast and friends and family and gifts all for Christmas. But I will also celebrate at church with my  fellow saints.  I will spend a majority of my time on Christmas and Christmas eve remembering and rejoicing with others. That happens to be tradition where I currently live, and you know it seems to be a good one! What about you?

Disappointment

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Therefore, my brethren dearly beloved and longed for, my joy and crown, so stand fast in the Lord, my dearly beloved.      Philippians 4:1
For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing? Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ at his coming?                        
1 Thessalonians 2:19

These verses depict what anyone in ministry feels.  It is joy when our students obey the Lord, when they get into ministry, when they bear fruit. 

On the other hand, when someone into whom you have invested time falls into sin, that is sad, disappointing, frustrating, angering.  For years they have sat under our teaching, they know what is acceptable and what is not.  And yet you hear news that shows that they were not obeying.  AIDS, Teen pregnancy, divorce, spousal abuse, polygamy, theft, lying, jealousy, corruption, discord, fighting, swearing, etc…  Many of these sins have consequences for the rest of one’s life. 

I’m stuck asking, “Why?”  Did I not do my job?  And then I wonder how my Lord feels.  How I must break His heart over and over and over again.  It’s the whole log in my eye and speck in my neighbor’s eye issue once again. 

Yet, when this little baby is born and forces a couple to get married because of their sin, why do I struggle to celebrate with them?  When someone who is quite promiscuous is now dying of AIDS, do I comfort them?  When someone wants to stay in my home who has a reputation for theft, can I welcome them?  I think it would be easier if they would confess and show signs of repentance, but when they do not? 

In a society that is newly Christian, they find joy in these things and they comfort the sinner.  Why am I so judgmental?  How do I find the motivation to keep teaching when so many of these young Christians fall into sin.  We think the situation in Corinth was bad, but what I see here seems so much worse. 

God help us.