October 30, 2011
In America we sometimes celebrate deception. We all know that bunnies do not lay eggs, nor does the plant kingdom produce henfruit (hen eggs), yet we celebrate Easter with bunnies that lay eggs hidden in the grass and marvel at bushes that grow multi-colored henfruit. We all know there is no Santa Claus, yet we celebrate Christmas with red-suited men carrying sacks of free gifts. We all “know” there are
no witches, ghouls and goblins, yet we celebrate Halloween by dressing ourselves as…..witches, ghouls and goblins.
Have we not noticed that these three celebrations of deception are practiced at the same time of Christian celebrations of Divine truth? Furthermore, each celebration may be seen to parallel the three feasts that every child of God is to keep once a year (lifetime): Passover; Pentecost; Tabernacles. These three feasts of the Old Testament, Passover, Pentecost, and Tabernacles are paralleled in the New Testament Christian experiences of being Born Again, being Spirit Filled, and Maturing in Christ respectively.
16 Three times in a year shall all thy males appear before the LORD thy God in the place which he shall choose; in the feast of unleavened bread, and in the feast of weeks, and in the feast of tabernacles: and they shall not appear before the LORD empty:
17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD thy God which he hath given thee.
How sad that we Christians often prefer to celebrate the deception of the Easter Bunny’s eggs to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. We, in effect, prefer to celebrate the natural impossibility of such freakish fertility to the absolute certainty of the One alive again from the dead. But does not deception accomplish its mission in the process? The very least harm done: while we are celebrating the Bunny laying his eggs we are not considering the truth that it is only by our faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ that we celebrate our rebirth, our Passover.
Here he comes bearing gifts: Santa Claus; Saint Nick. And, isn’t he the jolly fellow. Let’s celebrate. He gives to us: and, that without price. We give to one another, but quietly expecting a gift in return. What can possibly be deceptive about all this? It is quite Christian to give to one another what we have received of God, you know! Well, Saint Nick isn’t God who gave His Son. Neither does Santa Claus give us the gifts of the Spirit in the Christian celebration of Pentecost. Nor does He just jovially give such gifts to be blatantly abused by irresponsible children only for a moment, and then cast aside for another, and then yet another more preferable gift. But again at Christmas our feast of deception accomplishes at least its elementary purpose: while we are celebrating by unwrapping all our gifts, our mind is not on the One who gives the gift of Himself; and, we are not celebrating our receiving of God the Holy Ghost, the gifts He brings, and our ability to give them in turn to one another. In a word, we are not celebrating our second feast, our Pentecost.
The Feast of Tabernacles: the celebration of the harvest. The reaper has overtaken the plowman. We have sown our faith in Passover. We have tended it in Pentecost. And now we reap of it in Tabernacles. Oh, to be gathered into the barn of the Lord! It is the feast of Life Everlasting! We have matured! All the good our Father has promised us is now upon us! Our Christian labors are now rewarded. God is bringing His “many sons to glory!” So how do we celebrate and prophesy of that time yet ahead of us? We do Halloween! We dress as witches, ghouls and goblins in a celebration of evil and death. We threaten to do evil if we are not allowed to reap what we have not sown or tended. And, we impress the same on the minds of our children.
Oh, people who think this way are just religious fanatics! They spoil life itself! These holiday celebrations are just all innocent fun for everybody! Are they? Maybe that is the deception. For the true horror of my deception is that I don’t know I am deceived.