In Western countries, we mostly celebrate Birthdays, Mother's Day, Father's Day, Easter, Christmas and New Years Day. We may be patriotic and celebrate a day for our Country. Compared to some countries in Europe, the Middle-East and Orient,we don't really know the
'Art of Celebration'.........they show such Joy and closeness with each-other without the need for a few glasses of wine, whatever, to do so.
I have witnessed a few of these celebrations and these people really know how to celebrate! Like my Arabic neighbors who make plenty of specialty festive foods and gather together.....they feast and sing and play music with instruments several times from midday to late in the evening.
The first six paragraphs will lead somewhere:)
Jewish people really know how to celebrate and were given certain Feast Days from
The Lord to keep each year, which they did with great gladness of heart!
Yes, these Feast Days were celebrated with Praise, Prayer and Exaltation
with Singing and Dancing with tambourines etc
Even though my neighbors are Drews, that is supposed to be "the best of Muslim and Christian put together" (in their words) I have not witnessed a God-Focus in their days of celebration like Jewish people have. Their focus is mainly on family, food and the occasion. Other neighbors from Kurdistan who are Muslim know how to make a good spread of food too, especially at the end of their
30 day Ramadan - they have breakfast at 4.30am fast from food and water each day till
7.30pm in the evening. Even though there is Food and Prayer - they don't sing or play music,
they think that "God does not like it!"
When it comes to Christians celebrating Easter and Christmas, It's not only disappointing to know they have become worldly occasions with the Bunnies and Santa, mixed in with religious beliefs.......the Roman Emperor Constantine, many suppose to be a "Friend of Christianity" actually changed the days of certain Jewish Feast Days to pagan days when he changed the Sabbath day to the day of the 'Sun God' and in reality, he sought to weaken Christianity.
It was also disappointing to me, this year, discovering that Hanukkah that commences before Christmas - referred to as the Jewish Christmas by some Christians - is strictly a Jewish celebration that does not relate to us as Christians. It concerns a time when the Jewish Temple was rebuilt in the time of Maccabees after a war broke out and it was pulled down.
And also that most Jewish people use a number of unhealthy fried foods and donuts to celebrate this time, play with some kind of dice and reward children with money for studying the Torah through the year. Many do exchange gifts at this time like Christian families do. Had me thinking, I'd rather celebrate the Prince of Peace - just not on a pagan date.......and I would not want to reward children with money for something spiritual like studying God's Word. I would rather make sure I keep a promise of some kind they look forward to.I would also make sure that promise is one I can keep.
Maybe that's just me - those things were disappointing to find out, right when some Messianic Christian friends are about to celebrate Hanukkah in the USA. They are such a lovely couple, I thought I would seek to understand these celebrations they are having (on the internet).
What am I saying?
Celebrating is Good - yes, it is a good thing, especially in
the stressful times we are living in these Last Days.
As shown in the Old Testament times in our Bible,
our God wants His people/children to have a 'spirit of celebration!"
He actually desires this for us and He Loves to be celebrated!
So much so, He instigated the Feast Days like the Day of Atonement and
the Feast of Tabernacles which the Messianic Christians also celebrate
because those Feast Days speak of Salvation Jesus brought to us
and the Presence of the Spirit of God who would dwell with us.
Actually, it is very enlightening to hear Larry Huch go into detail about the
Promises God gave Israel at these Feast Times…… of Healing, Provision and
Protection, He would Keep and carry out from a Feast Day to the next
Feast Day. What's more is, they were really joyful with much REJOICING
because they knew He would keep His Promises.
Please Understand These Were Only....
"Shadow of Things to Come" in the New Covenant God would make with us
through JESUS our SAVIOR and REDEEMER!
16) Therefore let no one judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a festival, a New Moon, or a Sabbath. 17) These are a shadow of the things to come, but the body that casts it belongs to Christ.
New International Version
These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
New Living Translation
For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality.
English Standard Version
These are a shadow of the things to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
Weymouth New Testament
These were a shadow of things that were soon to come, but the substance belongs to Christ.
When you think about it, what are we doing, keeping Easter and Christmas Day
OR looking back at Jewish Feast Days......The Lord our God set in place for
them because Jesus and the Holy Spirit had not come yet?
At the same time while saying that, isn't it sad that we as Christians
who have received the same Promises of HEALING, PROVISION and PROTECTION
from The Lord on a continual basis, not dependent on Feast to Feast practices
find little reason to celebrate Our God and King because so many of us are not
LIVING in these BLESSINGS?
So many of us are ignorant, not knowing we are entitled to such Blessings
as His Children or how to access them through FAITH.......Freely given along with
SALVATION - they are meant to be PART OF IT!
And often, we are complacent or subdued to Enter into Them.
In the interest of Unity and our Personal walk with Jesus
I will place a few translations of Rom 14:4-6 here.
The Law of Liberty
4) Who are you to judge someone else’s servant? To his own Master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. 5) One man regards a certain day above the others, while someone else considers every day alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.
6) He who observes a special day does so to the Lord; he who eats does so to the Lord, for he gives thanks to God; and he who abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God.
New Living Translation
In the same way, some think one day is more holy than another day, while others think every day is alike. You should each be fully convinced that whichever day you choose is acceptable.
Berean Study Bible
One man regards a certain day above the others, while someone else considers every day alike.
Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.
Says: Let each be fully assured in their own mind.
International Standard Version
One person decides in favor of one day over another, while another person decides that all days are the same. Let each one be fully convinced in his own mind:
Aramaic Bible in Plain English
There is one who distinguishes one day from another and there is another who judges all days the same, but let every person be certain in his own mind.
GOD'S WORD® Translation
One person decides that one day is holier than another. Another person decides that all days are the same. Every person must make his own decision.
Plenty to Celebrate!
Let us find reasons to celebrate for ourselves or our family hey?
They don't have to be set days by the world or religions.
We can make birthdays meaningful.
New years less worldly and more purposeful.
We could have a Family Day in place of Christmas
exchanging gifts etc
We could celebrate each Season with
Joy in our Creator - the Giver of Good Gifts.
We can celebrate the day we found Jesus!
We can remember something special God did for us
and celebrate with some little luxury and thank Him again.
We can celebrate our children's progress
in some way - making them feel valued.
We can celebrate His Blessed Return with a full glass of
grape juice and freshly baked bread together
with true worship music.
We can have an evening of Praise and Festivity
for The Lord, showing Him how we appreciate
His Love, Grace and Goodness.
There's so many ways we can celebrate!
"Bless The Lord for His Goodness endures forever.
Let the redeemed say so."
1) Oh give thanks to the LORD, for He is good, For His Loving-Kindness is everlasting. 2) Let the Redeemed of the LORD say so, Whom He has Redeemed from the hand of the adversary.
AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT THE LORD HAS DONE WITH US WHEN
HE SEATED US WITH CHRIST IN HEAVENLY PLACES.
REJOICE IN THE LORD ALWAYS AND AGAIN I SAY REJOICE!
TAGS: Celebrating The Lord and Each-Other, God is Good, Rejoice!