God is disappearing in society. Most people are pretty aware that this is happening.  I was talking the other night with a few girls before my shift started and someone made the comment, “I wonder who came up with this holiday about rabbits and chocolate eggs”. I groaned inwardly to myself. So I spoke up, “Easter is not about rabbits and chocolate eggs, just like Christmas is not about presents and trees with lights in them. It’s a religious holiday associated with Jesus death on the cross but society is trying to bury what these days are really about”.  Then another girl who grew up catholic piped up alongside with me about all the different holidays like St. Patricks day and Valentines day and such and so the discussion went for awhile.

It kind of shows to me that the devil is a sneaky guy. Even  Christians get sucked into the hype of these holidays. How many families do you know that don’t do gifts at Christmas? Who don’t put up a tree? Who do Easter egg hunts right after they’ve been to church? Is it okay to intermingle the worlds view with the view God has called us to have? I’m not condemning the people who do these things. I’m not able to pass judgment on other peoples hearts and motives and I admit, I participate as well.  For instance, you will definitely see me in line at Walmart with a bag of mini-eggs in my hand at some point this Easter. I know its not about rabbits and chocolate eggs. I just think oval shaped, candy covered chocolate is rather tasty.

That leads to another discussion. What excuses do we make for ourselves so that we may continue in these activities? Lets not kid ourselves, we definitely make up excuses sometimes so that we can do what we want to do.  Its ridiculously hard to put aside our own will in all things. I suppose that what I’m trying to get at here.  The devil is dressing himself up as a huge distraction from the meaning of the real holiday in candy and decorations and society is sucking it up as fast as they can. We have all seen it. The discounted Halloween candy is barely off the shelf and they’re replacing the displays with Christmas paraphernalia. Heart candies and heart shaped boxes are hardly gone before four leaf clovers and ridiculous green hats take up a spot on the shelves. Now we’re walking into the stores and being assaulted with pastel colored displays full of bunnies and eggs.  My ultimate question is this. Is it okay to participate in these holidays the way the world does? What message are we sending out when we’re dutifully standing in line at the till beside our neighbour with our Christmas lights, green hats, and Easter eggs?  I was reading Romans 14 this morning and I think that I can tie in that chapter here. Bear with me, I’m not a professor of theology, but I’ll try sum it up correctly.  The chapter is about weak and strong Christians.  It was during a time that new believers were still undergoing the transition from all their old Jewish habits and laws and switching over to the new law. The weak Christians were having a hard time adjusting to being allowed to eat all foods and learning that it was not about what you do, its about what you believe. It was about faith.  The strong Christians were able to eat any food and do so without doubting what they were doing was wrong. God says to us there in that passage,
“But the man who has doubts is condemned if he eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin”.
I think that if you’re a strong Christian you can minimally participate in these holidays without losing sight of the real meaning of the holiday. For weaker Christians, I think that the devils colorful, distracting displays can derail them from focusing on the real meaning of Christmas, Easter and other such holidays.   So how do we decide if we are strong enough to participate? If we are weak? I think a question we can ask is, is all this hoo-ha and fan-fair a stumbling block to us or to our neighbour? Is it going to attract the worldly people around us towards wanting to know God or will it make them think we are no different then them? I don’t have all the answers but lets not let God and the meaning of these holidays become buried underneath Satan’s decorative distractions. Lets not let the world become so delusional that they start wondering, “Who thought up this holiday about rabbits and chocolate eggs?”