HOLY DAYS OR HOLIDAYS
The holiday season will culminate this week with the celebration of the New Year on the Sixth day of the week, commonly called Friday. Many have already made their reservations for the New Year’s Eve Ball, while others are getting their clothes together to attend Watch Night services. Friday will be recognized as the first day of the year 2010. Throughout the world there will be much festivities and celebrations at the stroke of midnight. How did this come about? Was it so from the beginning? Let’s borrow the phrase in St. Matthew 19: 8 to respond; “…from the beginning it was not so.”
Genesis 1:5 “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.” We see clearly in the book of Genesis that the day does not begin in the middle of the night. The bible clearly states that the evening and the morning were the first day and so on. So when the celebrations culminate at midnight whether at the ball or in church, the day has already begun and it was missed by all the celebrants. “…from the beginning it was not so.”
Was the month commonly called January always celebrated as the beginning of months? When did the change come about? In 1582 Pope Gregory the XIII changed the beginning of months from April 1 to January 1. Yet as late as the 20th century, many cultures still celebrated April 1 as the New Year. This is just how God set it up in the beginning of time. However, after much debate of his papal decree the Gregorian calendar was adopted by most of the world using January 1 as the first month of the year. Yet there are still countries, including our own which use April 1 as the beginning of the fiscal year. “…and think to change times and laws” Daniel 7:25. “…from the beginning it was not so.”
Once the holidays end, the Saints of Christ will begin the celebrations of the Days of Holy Convocation. Throughout the ages these days were celebrated by the people of God at various times. These days of prayer and praise and atonement of sins also referred to as the Feast of Tabernacles will focus on thanking God for His past blessings and protection and requesting His continued blessings, protection and forgiveness throughout the coming days. (Deu. 16, Lev. 23 & Zech. 8).
As the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ rapidly approaches, it is necessary to evaluate our lives and see where we stand with Him. Are we doing the things He instructed us to do, or are we just blindly following the traditions of our fathers? Revelation 22:14 declares: “Blessed are they that do His commandments that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” Did He teach holidays or Holy Days? The concept of the holidays is wonderful. The love and the giving to everyone is great. This is how our lives should be lived ever day. The question we should contemplate though is, am I following the teaching of Christ? We do not want to be found in the words of St. Matthew 15:9, “But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.”
While most of the world slumbers and sleep, the Saints of Christ will be watching, praying and giving thanks and praise and bescheeing Him for His deliverance towards His people. St. Luke 21:36 “Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” HAPPY HOLY DAYS!