We need special days of joy and rest. Holidays help us in various ways. They let us enjoy the simple things of life and see God in the ordinary. They force us to slow down and love the people around us. Holidays let us take a break from our regular routines and diets to experience the joy of God’s abundance.
Holidays are a unique kind of ritual or habit that directs our hearts. By their regular appearance on the calendar, they structure our time and therefore give meaning and purpose to life’s story and our everyday experiences. People are creatures of habit. Patterns and rituals guide us by giving meaning and direction to the mundane, ordinary things we do. Habits and rituals shape everyone, regardless of whether or not they are religious.
Everyday before going to work, I travel to my local coffee shop, which is filled with familiar friends and faces. It structures my day and gives additional meaning to the work I am about to embark upon. I love talking with my friends and chatting over coffee. It has now become a regular part of my life. Life wouldn't be the same without it.
Signs of God's Goodness
Christian holidays specifically shape our hearts to love and follow God. Christian holidays are something much more than practices and traditions from some time long ago. Holidays like Easter and Christmas continue to hold the imagination and hearts of people because they speak of joy now and eternal joy to come—something we all long for.
Holidays are indispensable signs of God’s goodness. God showers us with his common kindness when we gather with family and friends. He gives us tokens of his love in our food and drink. These things speak of his lavish goodness to us.
We can mirror God’s graciousness to us in the world by sharing with others as a sign of our gratitude. We can lavishly love those in need by welcoming them into our lives on such festivals and days of joy. In so doing, we also shape the hearts of those around us. We become God’s instruments of sacred fellowship and love. What a reason to celebrate.