Why We Celebrate Holidays

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I am forgetful.  I am distractible.  I like to be entertained.

I think that’s why God invented holidays.

From the very beginning, God instituted a weekly reminder of His status (Creator) and our status (Creation).  Then as God was taking His people out of slavery He set up a whole series of holidays that He commanded His people to celebrate.  Later, when Jesus was on earth He further solidified the traditions of baptism and communion.

Holidays Are Important

Because of that evidence, we have decided that holidays must be important.  Here are just a few reasons why we think purposefully celebrating holidays is beneficial:

  1. God often told His people not to forget what they have learned.  He then created rituals, holidays, and printables that they could use to help them remember.
  2. God said that these celebrations, fasts, and remembrances would honor Him.  Nuff’ said!
  3. From the very beginning, God created our lives to have a rhythm.  Day and night.  6 days, then the Sabbath.  Springtime and harvest.  And then with the Law of Moses He created even more rhythm. (This was pointed out by Solomon and The Byrds.)
  4. Rituals and traditions bring family unity through shared experiences.
  5. Traditions tie us back to those who have gone before us.  This helps us see our current world in perspective.  This ties us in with the universal church, from Adam to Abraham to Moses to Jesus to today.
  6. Your children will carry on the truth to the next generation, but only if you teach them.
  7. In our fast-paced world it is very good to slow down and reflect on what is important.

For these reasons, we have been slowly creating family traditions that accomplish all of these goals.  We started with the ‘normal’ American holidays.  Then we have added in the annual festivals that God instituted for the Jewish people.  Each of these holidays is rich with meaning and history, and each one foreshadowed Christ and our eternal Kingdom.  We would be missing out on thousands of years of history if we were to forget about these.  We have also started adding in things we have learned from the liturgical calendar, which is the annual curriculum developed by the ancient Christian church.  We discussed this with our Advent post.  Again, we would be missing out on almost 2,000 years of ideas if we ignore these holidays.

Tradition!

Traditions have always been important to Dana.  She cherishes the family traditions that her family established, and she has enjoyed adding onto those traditions and creating new ones for our family.  But over the years, we have come to a whole new understanding of the importance of holidays and traditions.

We hope you will join us this year by purposefully celebrating holidays and establishing new traditions with your family.

Throughout the year we will share our ideas and resources that we use to guide our family’s celebrations. This year we plan to celebrate:

Date                 Event                                           Significance/Lesson

1/1/14                   New Year’s Day                                         Goals

1/6/14                   Epiphany                                                     Christ was revealed as God, and He is coming back

1/20/14                Martin Luther King Day                         Character, Courage, Equality

Jan or Feb*           Purim                                                           Esther, God’s Rescue, Fun

2/14/14                 Valentine’s Day                                        Marital Love, Family Love, God’s Love

2/17/14                 President’s Day                                        Leadership, History, Character, Lincoln and Washington

3/5/14                   Lent                                                              Repentance, Holiness, Preparation for Easter

4/14-4/22             Passover                                                    Sacrifice of the Lamb

4/20/14                  Easter                                                        Jesus is Risen!

5/26/14                   Memorial Day                                       Remembering what God has done for us.  Remembering the soldiers who have died.

5/29/14                   Ascension                                              Jesus returns to Heaven

6/8/14                   Pentecost/Feast of Weeks/                God blesses us with a good harvest, with the Law, and with the Spirit!
Shavu’ot

7/4/14                   Independence Day                              History, Freedom, Sacrifice, Patriotism

9/25/14                Day of Remembrance/                      Repentance and joy – Jesus is coming back!  Be alert!
Feast of Trumpets/Rosh Hashanah

10/4/14 Day of Atonement/Yom Kippur                   God’s judgment and forgiveness

10/9/14 Feast of Booths/Sukkot                                     Joy, Celebration, Israelites’ wandering, this world is our temporary home

11/11/14               Veterans Day                                         Courage, Sacrifice, Patriotism,

November             Thankful Month                                   Thankfulness

11/27/14               Thanksgiving Day                               Thankfulness, American History, Pilgrims

11/30/14               Advent                                                   Hope, Preparation for Christmas

12/17/14               Hanukkah                                              God’s miraculous provision.  Jesus is the Light!

12/25/14               Christmas                                              Our Savior is born

* Purim is actually in March this year, but since that is during Lent we will celebrate it earlier.

Helpful Resources:

Free printable of the list of dates above:  |PDF_Picture  Holidays |

Jews For Jesus Holidays

Jewish Holiday Basics 

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