God never made salvation depend upon new moons or holy days or sabbaths. A man is not nearer to Christ on Easter Sunday than he is, say, on Saturday, August 3, or Monday, October 4. As long as Christ sits on the mediatorial throne, every day is a good day and all days are days of salvation.
I love the holidays, especially Easter. It has much more significance to me than Christmas. Easter is more dear to my heart. Sure there are bunnies and eggs and marshmallow chicks, but The Resurrection seems a more joyful event somehow. I love gathering with family and having great food. I love the excuse to have some candy in the house.
I enjoy the same things at Christmas– I love to buy my wife and my boys presents. But it seems that Christmas has been hijacked and carried so far away by consumerism, that the whole essence of the birth of Christ has been nearly obliterated, like a distant unlit tree seen through heavy wet snow. December 25th wasn’t really Jesus’ birthday anyway. The Christ Mass was substituted for pagan winter celebrations, complete with highjacked symbols like evergreen boughs, mistletoe and holly. Something about it just doesn’t ring true to me anymore. In the 1600’s the Puritans banned all celebration of Christmas. While the Libertarian in me rejects the idea of banning things which I do not approve of for everyone else, I’m thinking that maybe a 5 year ban on Christmas could pump some true spirit back into it.
I wonder if at some point in the future, Christmas will suffer the same disconnect from Christ as Mardi Gras in New Orleans has from Ash Wednesday. The whole purpose of the revelry was to prepare yourself for the privations of Lent. Of course that practice got way out of hand long ago. “Let’s go have parades and drink so much booze that we pee our pants and vomit in the gutter so we’ll feel better about having to give up super-sizing our chilli cheese fries for a whole month.” The excesses of Fat Tuesday have increased while the privations of the Lenten fast have diminished.
Growing up Methodist, I never remember having ashes on my forehead and I was never eager to make some token sacrifice, usually a favorite food, for Lent. Of course, if ashes float your boat then I’m truly happy for you. Whatever we can do to remind ourselves of the significance of our Savior is a good thing. I just think it might be better to do as Tozer reminds us, and count every day of salvation as good.