Christians and Calendars

If my brain is hitting on all cylinders, I believe our nation celebrates 10 federal holidays.  As a kid, I called these holidays the get-out-of-school kind…and for most of them mom and dad didn’t have to work.  According to timeanddate.com, our nation also has a huge list of lesser known holidays…some I’ve never heard of…and the kids have to go to school while mom and dad have to work.  Some are classified as religious, political, military, memorial, etc…while others are civic, local, or cultural.  It would seem this list gets bigger every year.  Take note of the number of official holidays in each month:  Jan-14, Feb-20, Mar-19, Apr-34** (not a typo), May-35 {and this does not include May 23…which we all know is the author’s birthday and is easily and rightfully more important than Harvey Milk Day which is apparently celebrated the day before on May 22}, Jun-18, July is a slacker month with only 9, Aug-16, Sept-17, Oct-22, Nov-21, and Dec-19.  As most of you know, I am far from being a mathematician…but using all my fingers and toes…and a form of math that is much too complicated to explain here…our nation has some 244 holidays and observances in a calendar year.  Rest easy, several days have more than one holiday…so it has to share it’s square with others…for example, Nov 27 has 8 holidays to its credit.

Obviously I did not take the time to do research on all of these days nor am I prepared to take issue with timeanddate.com.  For the sake of time and brevity, I simply went with what they put before us.  In summary, our traditional 365 day calendar, calls us to remember, celebrate, encourage, mourn, and meditate several times a month.  We’ve come a long way with this list.  Obviously it takes a lot of effort to keep up with these kinds of things.

Christians, as a whole, are challenged to think somewhat differently on the whole calendar business.  We have just come through Fall festivals, Thanksgiving, and Christmas…and New Year’s Day is just 2 days away…after which, Easter starts coming into focus for all of us…and so it goes.

For my part, I appreciate certain days being set aside that call us to focus.  Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Veteran’s Day, and a host of others are special and it’s only right they be recognized.  But as I think about the major holidays, I think about the faith behind the suggested observances which initiated the act of making a certain day stand out.  This year, 2019, Thanksgiving Day was celebrated on Nov 28th (which was also my brother’s birthday!  Hi Brian!)  This coming year, 2020, Thanksgiving Day will be celebrated on Nov 26th.  God’s Word supersedes our calendar as Jesus and Paul told us to be thankful always…every day.  We just celebrated the birth of Jesus on the 25th of December.  Next year we will do it again.  However most conservative scholars will stand in line to tell you this is not when Jesus was actually born…but it is when we celebrate the event.  His coming into the world changed history as God kept His promise and sent humanity a Savior who would be born and, yes, laid in manger…but would grow up to die on a cross to save His people from their sins (Matt 1:21).

New Year’s Eve is tomorrow…then comes January 1st…a “newness” awaits…resolutions will be made…promises whispered to others and ourselves.  The calendar gives us the proverbial “clean slate” to make a fresh start…to learn from our past mistakes and to take strides forward in a direction that shows we are making progress.  Good stuff indeed.  But it’s nice to remember God does us one better…in fact, with God, each new day gives us a clean slate and a fresh start that Christians do in fact need…if we’re being honest.

Like all of you, I love the holidays…the big ones and the little ones.  But more than the days themselves, I love the life God has called us to…a life of gratitude, a life of celebration of the accomplished work of Jesus, and heaven-sent fresh starts…every single day…from our gracious Creator who loves us more than we can possibly take in on this side of heaven.

I love you guys…and I’m truly thankful you take the time to read these blogs.  Blessings to you and your family in 2020.  Thank you Lord…and Happy New Year to all!!

Thank You Monticello!!  šŸ™‚

 

 

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