In a short conversation tonight with good family friends, the question was considered, what’s a Christian to do with Santa and the Easter Bunny? What about various kinds of celebrations of Easter and of Christmas. I suggest the answer lies in the question, “What supplies are in God’s party closet?”
When I was about 23, I remember having a strong opposition to any celebration that I couldn’t find in scripture, thinking it made legalism and promoted works-salvation. The Bible didn’t say to celebrate Easter! By making people dress specially, and feel like it was a more special Sunday weren’t we making people feel bound where scripture left us free? Well, I don’t actually remember anyone binding my conscience on Easter, but the thought pattern in which I was trained was ready to see legalism behind any practical work done FOR God.
I believe the answer I have come to now has to do with answering what is lawful and how God likes to party. The main thing I am attacking first is Christmas without presents. May we give presents at Christmas?
I will write tomorrow or soon on what I think is the answer, but I put forth Deuteronomy 14.22-28 as a text to answer my question, and request your comments (From Biblegateway: )
22 “You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. 23And before the LORD your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the LORD your God always. 24And if the way is too long for you, so that you are not able to carry the tithe, when the LORD your God blesses you, because the place is too far from you, which the LORD your God chooses, to set his name there,25then you shall turn it into money and bind up the money in your hand and go to the place that the LORD your God chooses 26and spend the money for whatever you desire—oxen or sheep or wine or strong drink, whatever your appetite craves. And you shall eat there before the LORD your God and rejoice, you and your household. 27And you shall not neglect the Levite who is within your towns, for he has no portion or inheritance with you.
28 “At the end of every three years you shall bring out all the tithe of your produce in the same year and lay it up within your towns.