I’m pretty sure all of us have one or two days a year that we set aside as special; notably birthdays and anniversaries. My wife remembers family birthdays, and she likes celebrating them; especially the grandchildren’s and the great-grandchildren’s.
Birthday parties for kids are great, but not for me, because I don’t like being the centre of attention. I also don’t like being reminded of my age; although I’m grateful to the Lord for the long life He has given me. I’m a little more disposed to celebrating anniversaries, such as my 60th wedding anniversary which is due at the end of next year. On my 50th the whole family gathered together for a meal at a local restaurant, and it was a very happy occasion.
Loads of people love to engage with others on special days such as Boxing Day, Hogmanay, or even Halloween. In fact, every day of the year has been *set aside with a particular theme or focus. This year, June 29th is ‘National Hug Holiday’. Amazingly, June 30th is ‘International Asteroid Day’, and July 1st is ‘International Joke Day’. What a laugh! Any of them can be special for a person who has a strong interest in the cause being promoted.
Emotions can play their part on certain days – perhaps sadness on Remembrance Sunday, as people remember the tragic lose of thousands who died while on active service. Conversely on VE Day people may experience joy and elation when they remember the day of the unconditional surrender of German forces on 8th May 1945, which brought an end to World War 2 in Europe.
Are there Special Days for Christians?
Christians tend to focus on Good Friday, Easter Day and Christmas Day; and of course, there are other days they may remember, such as Ascension Day and the Day of Pentecost.
But is it biblical to celebrate or set aside any of these days?
Pentecost was an annual Jewish festival held in Jerusalem, and it took place fifty days after Passover. From the time of the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 2) the necessity for its observance ceased for those who had been transformed by the Holy Spirit (John 3:3-8). Christians no longer subscribed to it. So we must ask if the early Christians celebrated Good Friday, Easter Day, Christmas Day and Ascension Day? There is no biblical text indicating they did, and I can find no scriptural directive saying they should have.
So we should ask ourselves why do we? The ‘remembering’ we are told to do is to remember the death of Jesus (Matthew 26:26-28; 1 Corinthians 11:23-26) until His coming again.
Paul the Apostle stated:
‘You observe days and months and seasons and years. I am afraid for you, lest I have laboured for you in vain (Galatians 4:10, 11).’
‘One person esteems one day above another, another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind (Romans 14:5).’
‘He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it (Romans 14:6 a).’
Romans 14:5, 6 gives leeway to all believers to choose for themselves whether to honour any day as special, but we should take note of Galatians 4:10, 11 which highlights Paul’s concern for those who thought they were ‘obliged’ to keep certain days special. Even today there are Christians who believe they must set Sunday aside as an ‘obligatory’ special day. They are legalists who call it ‘The Lord’s Day’. They maintain Christians are ‘obliged’ to meet together for worship on Sundays.
I grant you, John and his contemporaries used the expression, “The Lord’s Day” – presumably because they associated the first day of the week with the resurrection of Jesus. It would seem that after His resurrection certain Christians may have regularly assembled for worship on Sundays (1 Corinthians 16:1, 2), but they were not ‘obliged’ to do so. Indeed, the writer of Hebrews was concerned that some believers were not assembling at all for communal worship (Hebrews 10:24, 25).
There was no regulation or law stating they had to meet on a Sunday, and there was no directive saying they should not buy things or not work on a Sunday. They were left to make their own choices.
Sadly there are those today who look down on believers who do not subscribe to their ways of doing things. Therefore we must be wary of legalists who attempt to turn Sunday into a Jewish Sabbath. Our priority must be to ‘live to the Lord.’
‘For none of us lives to himself, and no one dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord; and if we die, we die to the Lord. Therefore, whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s (Romans 14:7, 8).’
Whatever we do, we **do all to the glory of God (1 Corinthians 10:31).
**Do All to the Glory of God