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Keeping the Holidays Holy

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you.  Zechariah 9:9 NKJV

keeping the holidays holyAlthough our church was small, we did our best at keeping the holidays holy.

Toward the end of October, our small church’s bulletin fills with announcements. First comes our Fall Festival. For whatever reason, they never followed the trunk-or-treat trend. We can argue over whether we should celebrate certain holidays—or certain aspects of some holidays—but we love getting together, having a meal, taking the kids—and some adults—on a hayride, and having games for the kids.

Around the same time, we start our Shoebox push. We provide boxes and info pamphlets and encourage people to fill as many as possible for needy children around the world. Most of all, we remind them that literature about how to know Christ will accompany every shoebox. We also show videos on Sunday mornings so they can witness firsthand the difference these shoeboxes make. Our little congregation of thirty typically exceeds fifty boxes.

Next comes our annual Thanksgiving meal, where we gather around the table to enjoy good food and company.

Depending on when Christmas comes, we typically begin Advent around the first of December. No, we’re not a Catholic church—and my dear old dad would probably never have observed it in his church—but I enjoy lighting the various candles each Sunday and reflecting on their meaning.

Around the middle of December, our children perform their play. The production is short and sweet since we only have a handful of children. Sometimes, adults must step in to help them.

When our church Christmas meal is over, our busyness ends, and so do most of the announcements in the bulletin.

Although busy, I love the holiday season because it allows me to reflect on the holy. In October, I remember the harvest season and the times when farmers and their families depended on a good harvest to make it through the winter and to the next planting season.

Thanksgiving reminds me of the Pilgrims and our country’s heritage. I would have loved to have been there when they invited their Native American neighbors to a food feast.

But of all the holidays, Christmas reigns the highest. On this day—whether Jesus was born in December or not matters not—we celebrate the birth of our Savior, God’s gift to humanity. God’s solution to our sin. God’s ultimate offer of forgiveness. The shepherds and the magi are excellent examples of how we should respond to this baby King. We should praise him and offer him our best.

So, whatever your traditions during the holidays, keep the holy in them.

How can you keep the holy in your holidays?

(Photo courtesy of pixabay and Michelle_Raponi.)

(For more devotions, visit Christian Devotions.)

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Martin Wiles

Martin Wiles lives in Greenwood, SC, and is the founder of Love Lines from God. He is a freelance editor, English teacher, pastor, and author who has been published in numerous publications. He also serves as Managing Editor for both Christian Devotions and Vinewords.net. He is the author of six books. His most recent book, Don’t Just Live...Really Live, was released in November 2021. He and his wife are parents of two and grandparents of six. He can be contacted at [email protected].