Hijacked Holidays (GodSpeak Readings Nov 16-21)

Speaking the Truth in Love:  Hijacked Holidays

The word “holiday” comes from “holy day” or “set apart day.”
There’s no doubt these days are “set apart!”  But for what purpose?
Do we still celebrate the original meaning of these holidays?  Should we?

Daily Prayer: Lord, you set apart days and seasons for your people to remember you.
Keep us focused on you as we celebrate these holidays.  Amen.

Monday, November 16
Read Exodus 12God established holidays.  What was to be accomplished by celebrating this holiday every year?  Why was God so specific about how the holiday was to be celebrated?

Tuesday, November 17
Read Leviticus 23Here we have God detailing a number of feasts for the sacred assembly.  What are the purposes of these feasts and regulations?  What was the penalty for not observing these occasions?  Why was it so important for them to do these things?

Wednesday, November 18
Read Amos 5:14-24Amos prophesied during a time of great oppression toward the poor by the rich.  These same rich people would go and celebrate the religious festivals.  What is the message Amos is sending?  How might we be in danger of the same attitude?

Thursday, November 19
Read Matthew 15:1-9The Pharisees held closely to laws upon laws but had lost the ultimate reason for doing so.  What does Jesus have to say about that attitude?  What occasions or traditions do we have that have lost their original meaning?

Friday, November 20
Read Romans 14Paul warns us not to judge one another by human standards, but to uplift one another in the Lord.  What are the judgments being made of one another in this passage?  How might we be tempted to judge one another during the holiday season?

Saturday, November 21
Read John 7:1-18Jesus came to the holiday feast and spoke amazing words.  What was the question the people had for Jesus?  Did Jesus take personal credit for this teaching?  This holiday season, how will you celebrate in such a way that redirects the attention to God?

Bethel Lutheran Church, St. Paul, MN    –   bethelstpaul.com


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