Think Beyond the Holidays

Jesus said, “I do always those things that please him” (Jn.8:29). This started early on in his life as the boy Jesus travels with his mother and Joseph to Jerusalem in order to fulfill the days (Luke 2:41ff). Jews were bound by law to observe several special events throughout the year. Faithful adherents to Judaism would descend upon Jerusalem three times a year in order to do what was expected of them. They traveled from far and wide on these “holidays” to worship and offer sacrifices as prescribed by Jehovah. Faithful members of the Jewish family did far more than worship or sacrifice on holidays or special occasions alone.

The Hebrews writer stated that, “Jesus obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises” (Hebrews 8:6). The active covenant today is just better than the old one. There are no regulations on an exact geographical location to go in order to worship God (John 4:20-24). He simply desires that His family meet weekly (Acts 20:7; 1 Cor.16:1-2) and “as they go”, spread the good news about Jesus (Mark 16:15).

So much time and energy are put into our holidays. It is often within the confines of a packed schedule of travel and family reunion around the holidays that God gets a passing glimpse from those who normally do not have any time for Him in their life. It is often around Easter and Christmas when Christ gets some recognition beyond a fleeting thought. Many will make an effort to join the saints for a worship service once or twice a year. These holiday worshippers are more than welcome, and we appreciate their interest in spiritual matters. Brethren should be thinking of ways to maximize their impact on such people within the short time they have to spend with them.

Jesus was seen entering into the synagogue, “as was His custom to do” (Luke 4:16). Jesus was no holiday only worshipper. The first and great commandment is to love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind (Matthew 22:37). This requires daily dedication (Luke 9:23). Look, lives aren’t summed up in holidays. The eternal destiny of untold billions will be determined by their attitude toward spiritual matters. Christmas and Easter attendance will not foster a saving relationship with the savior. The Lord must come first regardless whether one has a fuzzy wuzzy holiday feeling or not. The love of Christ controls us (2 Cor.5:14) in devoting our all to him, and not just glimpses of convenience to salve a weary conscience.

Folks must think beyond the holidays. Get back to an everyday religion and an everyday faith. Jesus never traveled far from the place of His birth (70 miles), but the trek that had the greatest impact on the world was no holiday for Jesus. It was about 2,000 feet from where Jesus stood trial to the place of the skull. Do you know about the time Jesus traveled? It was that trip that bruised His heel but crushed the serpents’ head. It was that trip that secured our eternal redemption. Think beyond the holidays to that time Jesus traveled. Think about eternity- Jesus did!

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