Friday, October 29, 2010

Intentional celebrations

As I'm driving around this morning, I am still in shock at how big Halloween has gotten here in the States. I'm just gonna say it: Halloween is the dumbest holiday on the calendar. Christopher Columbus day ranks up there pretty close, especially considering history is not on his side. I passed a Presbyterian church with ghosts, pumpkins, spiders in their webs. A church. Exalting Halloween. I pass Christians saying to one another "Happy Halloween!"

People say "well, we don't do the scary stuff. We keep it light." But aren't we still celebrating the idea of Halloween? Just because we have a costume party the day before Halloween doesn't mean we aren't celebrating it.

Then, we get to Thanksgiving and we celebrate "family". "Family" becomes an idol during Thanksgiving and we accept it because just say "we're so thankful" We get together, eat till we're sick and watch the Cowboys loose again. I'm not sure the Pilgrims did any of that. Except watch the Cowboys loose. They've been doing that for awhile now.

The pilgrims were desperately thankful to the Lord of Lords for saving them from starvation. For providing a place of worshipping in freedom.

Then Christmas. Don't even get me started on Christmas. I've already ranted and raved about the whole fat guy in little red coat thing. We don't do Santa and this year we're not doing presents. I'll blog on that later. And you know what, most of the people that give us a hard time are professing Christians. They say that we are denying our kids some magical moment. As if the "Polar Express" is supposed to careen through our hearts and help us believe in this mysterious thing called the "Christmas Spirit." The whole thing is ridiculous, really.

We don't admit to having arrived in this Christian walk. But as believers, we are to question the cultural norms. Why do we celebrate the things we do in American culture? Should I also celebrate them? Do they butt up against any of my beliefs as a Christ follower?

Too often, we just accept the cultural norms as the standards for our family. We are far from perfect parents. But one thing we can give to our kids is a mind that thinks through these types of things. To not just blindly pummel through holiday after holiday without examining what that means for us as believers. Sometimes I think we forget that as Christians, we are weird. We will stick out. We will make decisions that our friends and family might not understand. But if we are seeking scripture and communicating these things in Grace, then God is pleased.

I see too many parents concerned that their kids fit in and are popular. Ya know what, if they are striving to live like Christ, they aren't going to fit in. Jesus made decisions that were constantly pulling him apart from the culture at hand.

We need to step back and examine why we do things as believers. To be intentional about what and how we celebrate. And to make sure that striving to be like Christ supersedes our desires to be liked and needed.

I'm sure this isn't going to be my most popular blog post. But, I'm tired of Christians sitting on the sidelines, accepting culture as normative and in all these things, becoming a fainting, flickering light, destined to be extinguished.
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