Holidays & Holy Days
Throughout history human beings have celebrated certain days as special, holy, or days of remembrance. Most of these days have religious or spiritual connotations. Our modern era is no different. We have holidays in America. Sometimes we remember. Sometimes we revere. Other times we celebrate.
But if you ask most people about American holidays, they may be more concerned with being off of work than actually celebrating or remembering.
No matter how you feel about holidays and holy days, they exist and there’s some deep implications.
Don’t you Christians just copy pagan holidays…
Have you heard this one? It’s kind of true.
Historically, we understand that Jesus wasn’t born on December 25th. We know that this date traces back to a separate, cultural holiday worshiping pagan gods. Christians adopted this date as celebration to avoid persecution. The same goes with Easter.
So, should we just ignore these holidays as educated, intelligent, rational humans?
Easter and Christmas have become ingrained in our culture. It’s about way more than Jesus’ birth and resurrection. For “cultural Christians” it’s a day to appease mom and go to their old church. For others it may be the best time to take the family to church to get the neighbors off your back. And still for others (the spiritual, not religious) it may seem like church is a good thing to go to during those seasons.
These people are referred to as CEO (Christmas Easter Only) Christians, or “Chreasters.”
These days are just days…
According to the New Testament writer, Paul, days are all the same. But to some one day may be seen as more important than another. He encourages Christians to do what they do and respect those who do differently. Now, of course he was speaking to committed Christians. These were people who might be imprisoned for their beliefs. Not cultural, American Christians.
“…some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable.”
I tend to lean on the side of all days being the same. Sure, Sunday is a great day to worship God and gather the church. But so is Monday! Yes, Easter and Christmas encourage us to remember Jesus in specific ways, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But ultimately, April 16th, 2017 is just another day. And it should be lived in worship, just like today. A favorite author of mine expresses it this way…
“A man is not nearer to Christ on Easter Sunday than he is, say, on Saturday, August 3, or Monday, October 4. As long as Christ sits on the mediatorial throne every day is a good day and all days are days of salvation.”
A.W. Tozer, The Pursuit of God
So, every day is just like another. But not necessarily…
The Reason We Celebrate Easter
As a church leader, I know that Easter is a huge day, culturally. I will probably have more opportunity to influence people for Jesus on that Sunday than on any other Sunday of the year. So, Downtown Faith will leverage that opportunity as best we can!
We will pull out all of the stops for Easter Sunday. I’m talking community brunch (Vegas locals love Sunday brunch), a friends and family photo booth, egg hunt for the kids, and anything else we can do to create fun. Yes. I’m all for the church having fun.
As a follower of Jesus I should be grateful and celebrate Jesus’ birth and resurrection every single day. That’s the goal. And while Easter may just be another day to me. It isn’t just another day. Our American culture has set it aside. People reach back to their roots and celebrate something once a year. So, I’m going to create a great place to celebrate.
If that’s their time of year to consider Jesus, we want to consider Jesus with them. If that’s when they will drop their kids off in Downtown Kids, then we want to have a great experience waiting.
Easter isn’t just another day. In reality it’s a great day to help people follow Jesus into new life!