What holidays do you enjoy most? Perhaps you ring in each New Year’s Day with confetti and a kazoo. Maybe you dye your water green every St. Patrick’s Day. Perchance you patriotically decorate the grave of a respected veteran on Memorial Day.
Whatever your tradition, keep it going. The more you celebrate, the more there is to celebrate.
Along with the others, here are four more holidays to celebrate each year.
#1 – Your Birthday
A birthday is a time to celebrate life itself.
Celebrating your birthday is an expression of thanks. It’s an expression of gratitude to God for giving and sustaining your life.
It is also an occasion to rethink your life. It is a great time to reflect on the past, evaluate your present, and make plans for the future. Like few other times, on your birthday your past intersects with your present and your future.
Don’t skip your birthday. Take the day off if you can. Eat an extra piece of cake. You deserve it.Celebrating your birthday is an expression of thanks. It’s an expression of gratitude to God for giving and sustaining your life... Don’t skip your birthday. Click To Tweet
#2 – Christmas
Christians all over the world celebrate Christmas in honor of the birth of Jesus Christ in Bethlehem.
Various Christmas traditions have been associated with the celebration of Christmas, and different cultures celebrate different ways. The unifying factor is the historical fact that Jesus was born. The angel who appeared to the shepherds the night of Jesus’ birth said…
I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. (Luke 2:10–11)
Our church celebrates Christmas because the birth of Jesus Christ is “good news.” Good news is meant to be celebrated. In fact, the angel said the news of Jesus’ birth would cause “great joy” and would be “for all the people.”
When we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate a Savior that we all desperately need.When we celebrate Christmas, we celebrate a Savior that we all desperately need. Click To Tweet
#3 – Good Friday
Why celebrate Good Friday? Because Jesus was most likely crucified on a Friday, probably in AD 33.
Good Friday was the main reason God created the universe. Think about it… Which was more important: Christmas or Good Friday? Christmas was necessary to create the conditions for a Good Friday. There had to be a Christmas because Jesus had to live a perfect life before dying on the cross. The cross was the main reason God created the universe.
He has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time. (2 Timothy 1:9)
All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. (Revelation 13:8)
Why do we call Good Friday “good” when it’s such a bleak event? Because Jesus wore the crown of thorns that we might wear the crown of life. Jesus was condemned that we might be pardoned. Jesus was abandoned that we might be accepted. Jesus tasted death that we may taste eternal life. Jesus was showered with judgment so we can be showered with grace.Why do we call Good Friday “good” when it’s such a bleak event? Because Jesus wore the crown of thorns that we might wear the crown of life. Click To Tweet
#4 – Easter
Why celebrate Easter? Because Jesus physically, publicly, and powerfully arose from the grave on a Sunday morning, probably April 5, AD 33.
It was a real, physical resurrection. Think about it… Jesus’ corpse was laid into a grave with no pulse and no breath. The Roman soldiers were experts in death, so there was no question that he was dead. However, on the third day, Jesus came back to life, by the power of the Holy Spirit.
- He left an empty tomb with no body remaining inside.
- For 40 days, his followers could touch him, hug him, and feel the scars in his hands and feet.
- He ate broiled fish.
- The resurrected Jesus didn’t shine like a star while he walked the earth; instead, he appeared as a human being with a normal body and could be mistaken for a gardener or a fellow traveler on the road.
I recently enjoyed a coffee conversation with an unbelieving friend who said,
“Unless you can take me back in a time machine to see Jesus for myself, I won’t believe.”
“We don’t apply that logic to anybody else,” I replied, “not for Alexander the Great, George Washington, or Henry Ford. So why would we apply that same litmus test to Jesus?”
Wolfhart Pannenberg wrote, “The evidence for Jesus’ resurrection is so strong that nobody would question it except for two things: First, it is a very unusual event. And second, if you believe it happened, you have to change the way you live.”“The evidence for Jesus’ resurrection is so strong that nobody would question it except for two things: First, it is a very unusual event. And second, if you believe it happened, you have to change the way you live.” -W Pannenberg Click To Tweet
Believe in Christ. Receive Christ. Commit your life to Christ. Consider praying the following in your own words…
Lord, thank you for doing everything necessary to pay for my sin. I believe Jesus is Lord and offers me salvation today. I accept his free gift.
Whether that’s your conclusion or not, perhaps the best thing you can do now is to begin celebrating a few more holidays. Put your whole heart into the party! I pray it will be captivated by Jesus’ good news of forgiveness and peace.
Matt Friend, a Charleston native and tenth generation West Virginian, graduated from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, has served in pastoral ministry since 2002 and at Bible Center Church since March 1, 2016 (as our sixth Lead Pastor). He and Sarah (his high school sweetheart) are raising two teenage daughters, Katie and Riley, and a son, Kadyn. Together, they are advocates for adoption and all things West Virginia. In his free time, he enjoys reading, camping, hiking, kayaking, golfing, and spending time with his family and two dogs, Queso and Wasabi.
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