“For seven days celebrate the festival to the LORD your God at the place the LORD will choose. For the LORD your God will bless you in all your harvest and in all the work of your hands, and your joy will be complete.”Deut. 16:15
I’ve been rereading the Old Testament in the last month, and I couldn’t help but notice the repeated theme of feasts, holidays, and celebrations. Clearly, it was important to God that his people take time to stop, remember, and rejoice in his goodness instead of forever hurrying about their busy lives. At first glance, it seems like such a waste of time and resources to build booths and camp in them for a week, or make elaborate, time-consuming meals for Passover.
I’m terrible at celebrating. Looking back at least in my adult years, I cannot remember a Christmas week where I was not either plugging away at some major homework assignment or trying to work through some challenging read. I’m a very driven person, and that makes celebrating hard. I simply get bored. I hate stopping the business of life for what seems like fluff and a whole bunch of extra work, like putting up and taking down Christmas lights within a month!
My attitude strikes soberingly close to that of the disciples who condemned the prostitute woman at Jesus’ feet for wasting so much money on an alabaster box of ointment to pour on Jesus’ feet. Their attitude was clothed in religious terms: “you could have sold that and given it to the poor,” but at the heart, they devoid of the deep gratitude that would cause the women to sacrifice everything just to celebrate the Savior.
This Christmas, instead of pridefully thinking I have more important things to do than to celebrate, my desire is to grow in learning to slow down and simply rejoice in my Savior. To spend unhurried time in His Word. To learn to celebrate with a heart of thankfulness. And most of all, to see this season as yet another opportunity to remember His sacrifice and worship at his feet.