And God said, “Let there be lights in the dome of the sky to separate the day from the night; and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years.”
People may call me old fashioned, even politically incorrect, but I’m sticking with saying “Merry Christmas” and “Happy Thanksgiving”. I am going to stand my ground against the rising waters of secularization with its repeated attempts to strip culture of Christian symbols and rob us of the holydays.
Reducing Advent and Christmas to the “Holiday Season”, or calling Thanksgiving “Turkey Day”, is nothing new in the world’s endeavor to ‘dechristianize’ the culture. The bloody French Revolution tried to erase any memory of sacred time or Christian heritage by changing the calendar and the way people thought about time. The French Revolution Calendar was in force in France from 1792 to 1806 and designed to reinforce the message that Christianity had no place in the new order. Thus, the French Revolution Calendar struck out all the Christian holy days, and as well replaced the seven-day week with a ten-day cycle. This was designed to eradicate any idea of six days to labor with one day set aside for worshipping God.
Then in the twentieth century the Soviet Revolution also attempted twice to change the calendar in order to erase sacred time and days holy to God. But neither, their five-day week (nepreryvka), or six-day week (chestidnevka), was able to eradicate the deeply rooted seven-day week based on the Creation in Genesis 1-2.
Today in the Third Christian Millennium we find ourselves in the midst of another revolution wanting to change the calendar. Although this revolution has not been bloody, it has nonetheless been far-reaching, intended also to obliterate God from our consciousness and holydays. Just look at what your school’s calendar or your city’s schedule has done with Christmas, and you will likely see Christmas replaced by Winter Break, or some other homage to the Winter Solstice. The allowed songs of the “Season” are about Frosty the Snowman and the Grinch, rather than the Christ Child. The message is coming through loud and clear from the culture: there is no room for Christ in the Season!
Yet, long before God gave the Law to Moses, or delivered the commandments on Sinai, God placed His own calendar in the sky. We see this in today’s Scripture taken from the first page of the Bible. There is revealed God’s purpose for the sun and moon: “let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years”. It is important to note in this text that the word translated as “seasons” is used in the Hebrew Bible for the “feasts” and “appointed seasons” for worshipping God (See Leviticus 23). God made it as clear as the sun and moon over our heads!
There is a sense in which American Christianity has already ceded to the culture the sacredness of the “Lord’s Day” (Revelation 1:10). We have allowed this day to become much like any other day in our week, rather than a day “holy” to the Lord. And we are the losers!
We have given in enough to the culture and let it rob us of precious, holy time. So I intend this year to celebrate the holydays with all the joy and fervor I can muster. The coming days are days for counting blessings, telling the Good News, and celebrating the goodness of God, who for us and for our salvation came down from heaven.
Grace and peace,
photo by chiaralily