Why God Created Us to Enjoy Holidays and Celebrations
- Meg Bucher Crosswalk.com Contributing Writer
- 2017 13 Dec
God promised us in the Old Testament that He “will take care of the hidden things” (Deuteronomy 29:29). When we were created, He declared, “It is good!” (Genesis 1:31). God set us down in the Garden of Eden, surrounded by His love and provision. We were created to exist in the joy of knowing that He is Lord and we are His creation. The sinful curse that began with the Serpent has since caused confusion over how much fun we are actually allowed to have in this life.
Jesus instructed us “not to worry” (Matthew 6:31;34), yet that is what plagues us. Constantly pulled from one side of an over-commercialized holiday season to the other that denies the appropriation of giving gifts at all … it can be hard to know what not to worry about! But Jesus assured us, “Take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
Christmas is a time for celebration. It’s the world that wants to play tug of war with us, which is why we need to be diligent about lifting every worry up to Him in prayer, alongside a daily seeking of His Word for direction and encouragement. There is no way around this journey that God set in place to communicate to us and through us by the power of His Holy Spirit, beginning the very moment our hearts receive Christ.
“Celebrate always,” Thessalonians 5:16, states in the VOICE paraphrase, taken from the literal translation, “Rejoice always” (NASB). It means to be well and thrive at all times! “Be joyful always!” That doesn’t mean that we have to walk around with a fake smile stuck on our faces 24/7; it simply means that we are free to by joyful, regardless of our circumstance.
We can “always” be joyful, rejoice, and celebrate! Christmas is the reason we can claim freedom in the name of Christ, for had He not chosen to seek us out and come to save us, we would be doomed to the consequence of the sinful nature we all suffer from thanks to good old Eve—death. That, alone, is a reason to live this verse daily.
Philippians 4:4 echos the same sentiments: “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!” This statement permeates through all circumstances, for when we are walking with Christ, we are assured that He will bring us through everything we go through—either to restoration on earth or on to eternity with Him in heaven. This is the hope of the Christian that gives us license to celebrate life through a different lens. The Holy Spirit’s dwelling within us literally changes us from the inside out. Instead of putting a pair of sunglasses and noticing a different tint to the horizon, our gaze is shifted from within, so that what we see now is different than what we noticed before. Who we are follows suit, for Jesus promises, “you are a new creation.”
“Rejoice” was uttered in Biblical times to convey trust and confidence in God. It is the wholehearted confidence that we stand on so that we can experience the sustaining joy of Jesus in our lives.
“These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full”
Praise You for holidays and celebrations. Thank You for giving us a reason to be joyful at all times, and leaving Your Word and Holy Spirit with us to show us how to do that. The world we live in can threaten to swallow us with pessimism and political correctness. Allow us to celebrate in the way that honors You, always. Alert us to celebrations that do not honor You, and shut doors completely to events that seek to undermine Your good Word and purpose for our lives. Forgive us for neglecting to meet You daily in prayer, and inspire our hearts to stay close to You as we walk throughout our time here on earth.
In Jesus’ Name,
Photo credit: ©Thinkstock/YoungOldMan
Meg encourages others to seek Him first through her life as a stay-at-home mom, career as a freelance writer, teaching Emotimoms Weekly Bible Study, and leading the kids worship teams at her local church. She resides in a small, Northern lake town with her husband of ten years, two daughters, and their Goldendoodle. Meg writes about everyday life within the love of Christ on her blog, http://sunnyand80.org.