Reverencing The Holidays
In the first book of the New Testament, Matthew tells us… “When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, and frankincense and myrrh” (Matt. 2:10-11). During the holiday season many of us are in high celebration gear. With parties and gatherings around every corner, it is easy to think of this time of year as fun, fun, fun. Even for those of us who understand and teach the “true meaning of Christmas” we often lose sight of the holiness of this time as we get caught up in the festivities. Here are some thoughts about reverencing the holidays…
What the Wise Men Knew
In Matthew 2 we see a perfect example of two aspects of the holidays. When the Wise Men traveled from the east to find the newborn Christ, they understood that this was both a time for celebration and a time for reverence. In Matthew 2: 10 we see that the Wise Men rejoiced with exceeding great joy upon seeing the star they were looking for. This is a great example of the celebratory spirit that often pervades everything during the holidays. We want to get together with loved ones, have fun, eat and celebrate. There is nothing wrong with this, and for many of us this is a very important part of our year as we get to kick back, take time off work and enjoy ourselves.
The part of the holidays, however, that often gets overlooked is what the Wise Men also understood as seen in verse 11. When they finally did find Baby Jesus they were no longer celebrating and partying. It was a different attitude all together. In verse 11 we see that when these men came into the presence of Jesus they worshiped.
Worship Vs. Rejoicing
Worship is vastly different from rejoicing. Worship is a time of reverence for the holiness of God. The Wise Men understood that when you come into the presence of the One who authored your joy then your rejoicing turns into worship.
In the hype and fun of the holiday festivities, let us not forget to reverence the One who this is really all about. A holy time of worship should have a place in our holidays this and every year.
Helping Children Reverence
Children are difficult to wrangle any time of year, but most especially during the holidays when our kiddos are hyped up on extra Christmas treats as well as the excitement of gifts and parties. Although there is nothing wrong with these things, be sure to take time to bring them back to the holiness of the holidays. Take time in your lessons to slow down, and remind your students and children that Christmas was about God coming to be “with us.” This is a high and holy thing. It is good for our human minds to reflect on the significance of this, and let that inspire a sense of holy worship for this ultimate gift which was given to us at Christmas time.
You can see all of the articles by Sarah on Sunday School Zone.