Time to remember the real purpose of a holiday

Holidays or holy-days! When does a holy-day become a holiday and vice versa? Is Christmas a holiday or a holy-day? Is Easter a holy-day or a holiday? Is the Fourth of July a holiday or a holy-day? Do we any longer care? It often seems like it is just another day off to most people? Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Labor Day and many other “special” days have lost their meaning. They have become corrupted by our greed for leisure time and pleasure. How many of us celebrate their true meaning anymore? Is the meaning of Christmas in Santa Claus and the frantic search for new toys and the right gift? Is the meaning of Easter in the Easter bunny and colored eggs? Is the meaning of Thanksgiving in a stuffed turkey?

The word “holy” means: “belonging to or derived from or associated with a divine power” (http://www.thefreedictionary.com). While I would not want to be thought of as the Grinch who stole Christmas, I think we have lost sight of the sacred and the divine in too many of our holy-days. “Render unto Caesar and render unto God”! We have become lost with Caesar and forgotten God in our zest for celebration. Our sense of the divine and sacred has been subordinated to our sense of recreation and entertainment. Holy-days have become holidays and we forget their very reason for being. There is a great loss in this forgetting. Who is more important, God or Caesar? We can lose our direction and purpose in life by leaving out the sacred and holy and replacing it with the mundane and material.

Do you remember the sacrifices that many made for your liberty on the 4th of July or your day of independence? Do you remember the heroism and suffering paid by millions on Memorial Day or May Day for your freedom? Do you stop to give thanks for your blessings on your Holy Days or is it just business as usual? Are you one of those who have lost your sense of perspective on these special days? Are your holy-days just another day of vacation? What will it take for you to put the holy back into your holidays and to remember their true meaning?

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