If they weren’t sincere it would seem almost humorous but the fact is that a few believers really do attribute most holidays to paganism. It’s kind of ironic... you see, when I first left Christianity and Christmas rolled around, I felt a sense of loss that I wouldn’t be participating in this “Christian” holiday and was thrilled to learn that pagans celebrated Yule shortly before. You see, not that long ago, Christians fought to keep Christ in Christmas and now it would seem some are determined to keep Him out.
Don’t get me wrong, almost every holiday has become watered down with different beliefs and traditions so much so, that claiming any official origin is next to impossible. For me, a former witch, I find little resemblance between what I did as a practicing witch, to what I do today as a Christian. Yet, you see judgmental responses from serious brethren who accuse their Christian brothers and sisters of falling into sin by celebrating Jesus’ birth.
I remember being in a similar mindset when I first followed Christianity (before my pagan years). Looking back, I professed a grace filled freedom in Christianity but now realize I was really bound to the law. I honestly thought I was spirit-led and moving in spiritual gifting’s, but failed to recognize how I stifled the truth that could have set me free.
As you well know, we can never measure up to the law. No matter how hard we try or how close we come, our sinful nature keeps us from the mark. While I professed Jesus with my mouth, I still lived by a set of do’s and don’ts that left me frustrated and empty handed. Not only did I fail but so did my lofty expectations of my husband in being the “man of God” I believed he should be. What I hadn’t realized was that the enemy had implanted a seed of doubt in my mind that flourished due to my self-imposed captivity to the law. In time, I abandoned the faith and pursued what I believed to be freedom in witchcraft.
I’m thankful for the day that Jesus appeared to me in a dream and questioned my belief in who He was and years later when I experienced His love which cleansed me of my unrighteousness. It wasn’t until then, that I really began to live the experience of His grace that year's before I had only thought I understood.
A few years back I considered reclaiming the feasts God had given to the Israelites back in Biblical days. I was in the process of studying Sukkot and how to re-create a tent to participate when I believe Jesus spoke to me, “Why are you choosing to be bound by the law, when I (Jesus) have set you free?” It took me by surprise, after all, wasn’t this a God-ordained feast to commemorate the 40 years of walking in the wilderness? However, that was “before” Jesus’ death that substantiated our forgiveness and the temple veil was rent… enabling us to boldly enter into His dwelling place.
Am I saying that participating in these feast are wrong? Absolutely not… in fact for those who aren’t walking in His grace, it would be detrimental not to precisely follow every letter of the law. The problem is, not one can possibly measure up to it. The law was meant to show how in need humanity is for a savior and the depravity of our own soul. It reveals our distance from God and His love that draws us to His heart by our choosing to do His will through the power of the Holy Spirit. In Jesus, the law was made complete and it is with great joy that we experience the freedom only found through His shed blood on the cross.
Today, I walk in that freedom and have only begun to truly experience it. I am no longer bound to the expectation of man-made traditions. This past year I finally put up the tree just days before Christmas and never got around to decorating without a second thought. I am also not guilt ridden of the heavy burden of the law… the yoke that Jesus removed. That doesn’t give me a license to sin but rather a greater appreciation of what He did and what it means to be free indeed.
© By S. A. Tower, 2014
A tidbit from my grandson Tyler! “I believe in Jesus!”