Holidays are hard. This is because sin is grabby and humans are sinners. One other way we sin is by believing lies about how holidays can save us. This is a Hallmark gospel, the not-even-so subtle story we’re sold during this season. Just get the food offering prepared and the gifts secured and the table cleaned off and all brokenness can be healed!
Even Christians can tend to see these times through Precious Moments tinsel. I like to remind you that you know better, that these feasting times are spiritual war, and that the same behavior that blesses some will antagonize others.
Paul used a parade picture to encourage the Corinthians. “Thanks be to God who always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere” (2 Corinthians 2:14). The triumph was a Roman victory spectacle, with music and dancing and food and prisoners of war and the conquering general. Paul puts believers in such a festival, celebrating the victory of Christ.
But “we are the aroma of Christ to God…to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life” (2 Corinthians 2:16). When you live from faith to faith, some will join in thanking God, others will blame you and criticize you for not feeling more guilty about all the people you’ve hurt as you thoughtlessly celebrate this “triumph.”
The communion feast shows us the way. It demands that we recognize Christ’s sacrifice as the only gospel, a gospel that heals, that reconciles, that humbles, and that lifts up our faces.
Gird up the loins of your mind, and your gravy bowls. Be full of thanks. Be a blessing. Be a joyful sacrifice spreading the knowledge of God everywhere.