A few years back my dear wife went above and beyond the call of duty when she did research into every public and religious holiday in South Africa. She was convicted to really consider why and how we celebrate certain special events. Easter is coming up soon but what about Workers day, or Freedom Day, or Valentine’s day?
To celebrate or not to celebrate
Do we have a Christmas tree? (Regardless of the origins of the tree) It is not indigenous to Africa and we celebrate Christmas in the summer. How can we make celebrating special events more meaningful and relevant without compromising our Biblical standards and Christian testimony?
“Romans 14:6 He that regardeth the day, regardeth it unto the Lord; and he that regardeth, not the day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. He that eateth, eateth to the Lord, for he giveth God thanks; and he that eateth not, to the Lord he eateth not and giveth God thanks.” This passage was talking about observing the sabbath or another religious feast or day of remembrance so by application this is a good passage to guide the rest of the article. We have the liberty to remember and celebrate civil holidays such as Mother’s day, or Heritage Day, and birthdays.
Liberty to celebrate
Two things can be noted from this passage. Firstly that each person must be assured in their own mind. Celebrating or not celebrating must be handled according to the family’s own assurance and liberty they have towards the Lord. For this reason, my family and I have actually decided against celebrating certain specific civil holidays not out of conviction but because it simply just does not apply to us.
Thankfulness in celebration
Secondly when a person does observe the special day, to do so unto the Lord, and in eating (the feast associated with the festival or day) to give thanks. On each holiday such as Christmas, we give thanks for the gift of our saviour, on Easter we give thanks for the unimaginable sacrifice our Lord made on the cross. On birthdays we give thanks for our lives each day as a gift from God and for family, on Heritage day we give thanks for identity, and the unity we have across cultures as Christians being heirs of an eternal heritage in heaven. So on and so forth.
This is how we have decided to think about festivities in 2019 and celebrate them accordingly. How will you be celebrating Easter this year, and the other special events on your calendar?