“How Long Does the Meaning and Practice of Celebration Continue?”
Pastor Barry Klein, Staples Church of Christ
As of the writing of this devotion, the Christmas Advent Wreath was just put away for another year. To be honest, each year, I experience a mixed feeling of sadness and gratitude when the expressions of Christmas are being packed away.
It is a significant tie in for me that we celebrate the coming of the Messiah as he began in human form as a child, even a baby preceded by the womb. Then, we see how much richer our experience of the meaning of Christmas was (is) when we see it through present day children’s eyes and lives: the message of the Christ-child through our children. Powerful. Simply powerful and amazing.
Then, the New Year’s season follows on the heels of Christmas. We are even now in the midst of beginning a unique year numbered 2020. People have already been picking up on the “2020” vision of launching innovated goals and approaches to engaging the potentials of this new year.
We have in our home, a china cabinet that houses three levels of the ongoing Christmas message throughout the year. The bottom two shelves carry the “It’s a Wonderful Life” village. The top shelf bears the full manger scene. I write, “ongoing Christmas message” because our family (and continuing with my “empty-nest” beloved wife) has allowed me to keep those scenes there year round!
People have differing opinions on how to celebrate special seasons and there is delightful room for everyone. “Variety continues to be the spice of life.”
In all of it, we are given life-giving direction of one common theme in Scripture that is called for in all of our lives. The apostle Paul in Romans 14:5-6a (TNIV) says, “Some consider one day more sacred than another; others consider every day alike. Everyone should be fully convinced in their own mind. Those who regard one day as special do so to the Lord...” What is the common theme? Living life “as to the Lord.” We live daily life for Him! We are made to live moment by moment with an intentional consciousness of Him!
In light of God being the generous Creator of everything spiritually and physically (see James 1:17), everything on any given day points to Him. This starts with every breath and heartbeat that we so often unconsciously experience!
So, how long does the meaning and practice of gratitude celebration continue? ALWAYS!!!