Celebrating Special Days–Lest We Forget

The created world is in sync with the rising and setting of
the sun, the waxing and waning of the moon and the ebbing and flowing of the ocean tides. Seasons come and go. Flowers blossom and die. Weather systems build and dissipate. We would do well to mark the passing of time rather than just let it pass, day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year.

Every day should not be viewed as just another day for either
work or entertainment. God set aside the Sabbath to celebrate first his creative majesty and second, his redemptive power in the deliverance of Israel from bondage. Later, Sunday became the celebration of our Saviour’s resurrection. One day a week should be special. Fortunately, our predecessors appointed special days to remember Christmas, Easter, Pentecost and much more.

The importance of special days and memorial pillars is
emphasized throughout the Scriptures. The law given on Sinai specified that the year be punctuated by special feasts and sacrifices. Joshua had representatives of the twelve tribes take up stones from the middle of the Jordan to set up as
a pillar of remembrance in the promised land. He said that they were “to serve as a sign among you. In the future, when your children ask you…tell them” [what they commemorate](Josh 4:6,7). When the Philistines were subdued at Mizpah, Samuel “took a stone…He named it Ebenezer, saying, ‘Thus far has the Lord
helped us’” (1 Sam. 7:12). Before his death and resurrection, Jesus instituted the communion as a special way to remember his death until he come again.

Today is the first day of summer, a day which in cold climes
we look forward to with eager anticipation. In our family, June is also a month of more personal celebrations; Mary Helen’s and my birthday, our wedding anniversary and sundry graduation ceremonies of our grandchildren.

Just a few days ago, our family put on a wonderful
celebration to commemorate our fiftieth wedding anniversary. What a special time it was to see friends and relatives and receive greetings from far and near. I’d been sort of lukewarm to holding such an event, but our kids insisted. I’m glad they did. It led Mary Helen and me to look back on all the astonishing ways God has cared for us through the years and the love he has nourished.

A life unmarked by mileposts is a life that just filters
through our fingers unnoticed, like sand through an hourglass.

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3 responses to “Celebrating Special Days–Lest We Forget

  1. Thanks for this. My husband and I were big into celebration. I come from a family where we don’t send birthday cards, we don’t call each other on special days. Those things were thought to be too expensive or a waste of time. My husband came from a very close family that always called on birthdays. He and I wanted to celebrate family. What better to spend money on, than celebrating the good gifts of family and friends that God has given? Even now, since my husband’s death, the children and I still go to dinner on our anniversary and we tell stories about him and talk about how our lives have changed and what God’s doing now.

  2. Thanks Eric for this post on commemorating special days. I agree with you that this is important and certainly the summer solstice is much anticipated, though this year I’m afraid it hasn’t given us much warmth yet, hopefully soon. Congratulations on your fiftieth wedding anniversary and may you have many more special occasions to celebrate together. Blessings, Judith

  3. Sally and Judith: as man I tend to be more blase about celebrations but Mary Helen has really enriched my life with her sense of the importance of remembering every birthday, phoning, cards, etc. So I’ve learned have important marking special days is.

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