As believers, have you noticed that the world is constantly stealing, mangling, and distorting our special days on the calendar. I am thinking especially of three of them . . . Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. Millions of people miss the purpose of these holy days. Sadly, many of them do not understand the historical roots. And here are the results: Christmas celebrates Santa Claus; Easter becomes the day of the Easter bunny; and more recently Thanksgiving is called Turkey Day. In each case, God is pushed aside. Jesus is marginalized. Is there anything we can do to keep ourselves from falling into these secular patterns? Let me suggest four thoughts.
The world does not know God. We cannot expect them to approach these holy days with reverence and respect. They are bombarded by radio, television, newspapers, and advertisements to embrace secularism. Its tentacles have a long reach. The world marches to a different drummer than we do. And Satan often teams up with the `world' to keep people away from God.
We Christians, too, are vulnerable at this point. We hear and read the same media that shapes the thoughts and opinions of unbelievers. Paul, in Romans 12:2 says Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world. Other translations state this more emphatically: Don't let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould (Phillips); Be not fashioned according to this world. (ASV). Very quickly and very easily we become like those around us.
Let's get back to the Book. The Scriptures, as expected, give us guidance in this discussion. Paul exhorts us to think and live with Jesus as the Center of everything, as taught in Colossians 1:18: -so that in everything He might have the supremacy (NIV); -so that in all things He might have the preeminence (KJV); -so that He . . . have first place (Berkeley); -so that He is first in everything (Taylor). Let's always `go to the Book' for answers and for guidance. Jesus is prominent in history, in heaven, in theology, and in the Bible. He also deserves first place in our lives.
Let's put Jesus at the Center of our lives. Let's not only "put" Him there but let's "keep" Him there. This must be done consciously, deliberately, and repeatedly. We ought to often ask ourselves the question . . . "Who is on the throne?" . . . a question made famous by the late Bill Bright, in his well-known blue booklet. So I ask you these follow-up questions: Who is on the throne of your life? Are you on the throne? Or, is Jesus on the throne? There's room for only one person on the throne. It's you or Him. Who's there? When I prayerfully and carefully ask myself these questions, I am saddened when it is quite obvious that He is not on the throne. I have, too frequently and even unintentionally, grabbed the throne for myself. I am always the loser when this happens. God has made us for Himself.
This gets me back to where I started this letter. Let's protect the special, holy days of Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving. Let's not miss the blessing of those special days by settling for something less than the best.
In fact, let's protect every day as a holy day. Remember, it's not about us. Not about me. Not about you. Christmas, Easter, and Thanksgiving . . . indeed, every day, is not about us. It is about Him. Yes, every day . . . including this day and the rest of this day. It all belongs to Him.
Founder, Senior Associate
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