Thanks to a lot of technological advances, I’m beginning to remember things more than I used to, however if I ever lost my phone I’d be in big trouble. The reality is while I value a lot of things like my family, friendships, and taking care of things like our cars and equipment. I would often forget to do the right things when it came to all those high values. I guess the point I’m trying to make is that even though something is important to me, I still needed reminders that ensure that I lived out those values.
I think the same thing happens with spiritual things. We need reminders to keep us on the right path, keep focused on the right truths and do things that have great outcomes, spiritually speaking. Attending a church experience (church service, small group, bible study etc) at least once a week is a great way to keep focused. I also have found that many of our holidays can become “triggers” that cause us to remember and act on beliefs and values we have. Thanksgiving for example reminds us to pause and reflect on what God has done for us. While the rest of the world is being thankful for their material things and their relationships, as followers of Jesus we can be grateful for all of those things plus spiritual blessings and our salvation/ connection with God through faith in Jesus. In addition, believers are reminded that “thanksgiving” is not just an action, but an attitude we are to live by. Gratitude tends to create humility in us as we realize all we have received. The humble (James reminds us) are who God draws near to.
Christmas can create additional triggers on several levels for the Christian. First of all is what Christmas represents, God becoming man to die for our sins. Christmas also can trigger sacrifice and giving as Jesus put aside all that He had for the sake of us and asks us to follow His example. Christmas lights can remind us of our call to be “lights” in the darkness of sin in our world. Family relationships and reconciliation can also be a powerful thing for the genuine follower of Christ.
New Year’s can trigger reflection on spiritual character, on the past and on what the future could look like. A true believer can use New Year’s to shift focus or change priorities and start the year on a slightly different trajectory than the last year has drifted into.
The point is most holidays, if we leverage them correctly, can become heavenly “triggers” to remind us or to cause us to act on our faith. Don’t miss the opportunities God puts before you throughout the year through the holidays we celebrate!