Jesus probably wasn’t born on December 25, and God didn’t invent Halloween or Thanksgiving. But these and other annual days have been carved into our culture, to cease work, celebrate, and engage others. Gifts abound in December, giving us an easy chance to surprise coworkers and classmates with cookies or a brief note. And the world still rings in the New Year with gatherings and far more pomp than Israel’s trumpet blast.
Instead of celebrating this Christmas season, New Years Eve, and other occasions alone or with just-Christian friends—and instead of creating “Christian” versions of special events already happening in our city and neighborhood— let’s celebrate these occasions on mission. Let’s display the gospel through generosity, grace, conversation, and joy. And let’s declare the gospel through stories, toasts, and prayers. Sure, many cultural celebrations have long forgotten God. But we haven’t, and we’ve been sent to those who have.