Devotional: October 30th
Easter. Thanksgiving. Christmas. The three "holidays" that are recognized by the federal government and heavily celebrated by the church around the United States. I have given them in their chronological order as they fall in the calendar year. You know what each is for. Easter is the celebration of the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. The country received this celebration from the simple fact that it was brought with the early settlers who embraced the freedom to remember it in a new land..
Thanksgiving is an observance to celebrate the first autumn in the New World by the English settlers who came here in the early 1600's. They had braved a brutal year and gave thanks to God for the simple fact that they had not died by hunger, disease or at the hand of the land's original residents. Christmas, like Easter, was brought along by the settlers and ingrained into life here in the new country. Christmas is the celebration of the humanity of Jesus as He was born into the world just like the rest of us except He arrived via a virgin birth.
As the new nation formed so did its holidays. They have continued now for over two hundred years as official holidays. Each one with its own manner of celebration and each one with its attendant baggage. Easter has its bunnies and egg hunts; Thanksgiving its close association to the main course of turkey; and Christmas its evergreens and presents under them. However, I would like to tell you about a mini-holiday that happens in the Christian church every weekend.
Communion; or the Lord's Supper as it is alternately known . This one act draws all three of the aforementioned holidays together for the Christian every Lord's Day. Oddly, for many it is simply an ordinance of the church. I hate it when things are labeled as ordinances. They take on an antiseptic and official air. They become more command than desire; observance than celebration. I hope that today the Lord's Supper, or communion if that is how you know it, is returned to your heart for enjoyment.
At the Lord's Supper we celebrate Easter in its richest meaning. From Jesus' sharing it in the last Passover feast with His disciples (Luke 22:14-20) it is understood that He intended it for those who would know Him as a resurrected Savior as a vehicle for remembering His death regularly. We give thanks for our blessings so Thanksgiving is embodied in the partaking of the cup in communion (1 Corinthians 10:16). We celebrate Jesus' humanity in Christmas. Paul recounts the humanity of Jesus shown in the Lord's Supper as Jesus broke the loaf (1 Corinthians 11:23, 24). This Sunday come home to the church for the holidays. Celebrate Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas as you "break bread" together in worship.
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