The Holy Days
It has always been pretty much understood that the origin of the short name “holiday” really refers to “holy day.” We’re now in the “holy day season” which includes Thanksgiving (now including the antithetical “Black Friday”), St. Nicholaus Day, Christmas and the New Year. But what are we celebrating, and what is holy about any of these to us individually?
It is so very scriptural for us to “praise him for his mighty acts,” and so any gratefulness, giving of thanks, or celebrating of Him is certainly for all purposes appropriate. We thank him for all that he has done and has given to us. Of course “Jesus is the reason for the season” is still true about Christmas (no matter how “offensive” some ornery Grinch types will protest). We thank God for sending his Son to redeem us. ‘Ever wonder what Adam & Eve thanked God for … before the Fall?
Originally, the first humans never had done anything wrong, and so did not need to be redeemed. True, this state likely lasted only a number of days (weeks at most). But, for that brief time there’d have been no need of thanks for the redemption nor for any forgiveness from the hand of God. So what did they worship him for? You got it. They worshipped him for being their Creator and Maker! All throughout the Bible, there are references to His mighty works, most of which apply to the His works during the acts of the Creation Week.
The Bible says Adam and God walked together “in the cool of the evening.” I wonder what they talked about. I’d like to think they talked as friends, like Jesus said he did with His disciples, and like God spoke with Abraham and Moses – but still, it must have been something more during that unmarred fellowship.
In Genesis, “evening” means the whole night. As a biologist, I often wonder how much did Adam really need to sleep. I am guessing it was more after the Fall than before, but that is up for grabs. Who can know it now? So how long did these nighttime worship services last? What were they like? One day we’ll know. Meanwhile, let’s praise him from this side of the veil for everything. Not only for his acts and gifts since the Fall and the Cross, but also not forgetting to praise him for his first gift to us. He created us. We are the crown of Creation, made in his image! Humanity is special! Let’s get this one right from the start, then move onto all the rest. But, never forgetting who he has always been to us – the Creator. Amen. Happy Holidays!
Yours in the Master and Maker,