After the year-end festivals wind down all the celebrants will return to their tiny coops and carry on the tradition in blissful isolation, ignorance, and insensitivity. Festivals are like the grandparents who move in, do not die, do not recognize the passage of time except to mark their fleeting arrival and departure. There is no festival or fast that has transformed any of the nations, weak or powerful, into the lighthouse or harbour of which everyone dreams. Festivals are all juvenile exercises, elementary as agricultural fixtures, essential as seed time and harvest. I am not picking on year end festivals, because all the festivals have this character; fleeting, juvenile and poverty-stricken.
Tiny coops of culture
What is Kwanza in July? Is Christmas meaningful in the northern hemisphere spring time or Passover in October? Sun and Moon mark the festivals, there are no spiritual necessities,and absolutely anyone can observe and celebrate the festivals. Many people are desperately trying to convince themselves and the world that their culture is a spiritual refuge and Treasury. Desperate indeed! If we think our culture is anything more than a tiny coop, then should not the states and regions mired in violent “dialogue” be a loud bang in every ear? What culture prides itself on killing its wayward citizens instead of reclaiming them? Look around and you will see the families and tribes that are ready and willing to abandon family members who do not conform and then choose one of them to be your home, but please do not tell us your culture is grounded in love, justice, and mercy.
Coops vs wide open plains
When the disciples of the Most High God become analogies of domesticated animals, kept in zoos and digital cages of human design we have a problem. We should not think that the display on television of Christian worship, discussion and celebration are examples of what Christ intended. Even our Islamic friends must admit that there has to be some other rhetoric floating around other than what we see on television, and then again, there are the actual documents that we have to reckon with, Quran and Bible. We, Christians and Muslims, find ourselves often having to explain to people what is happening in the world versus what is the common perception. The Western configuration of states is a real problem for religions, and the founders of the American state recognized it. Despite the shenanigans in both eastern, western, northern and southern nations it is clear that religion should never become a functional weapon in any state’s armory.
Whence the festival?
I can tell you that if a festival or celebration has no hooks to the next best thing it is a shallow exercise. People celebrate independence year after year, and still the impression that independence saturates no nation lingers. People have done little with their independence beyond empowering the rich and the mighty at the expense of the poor and those with little influence. Nations obsessed with independence are terrified of migrants and people with opinions true Independence it’s not recognition.
Whither the festival?
Our most experienced and expert expositor of the Gospel and Biblical matters assured us that his -Jewish – pedigree was not worth a cracker crumb. Paul of Tarsus was no raving lunatic patriot, and while he may be faulted for condescending to certain rituals of his former religion, he was adamant about the value towards a spiritual reckoning of festivals, food, drink and laws of cleanness and uncleanness.
“However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods. But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again? You observe days and months and seasons and years. I fear for you, that perhaps I have labored over you in vain.”
Isolation is a virtue
Judging by the nationalists now permeating all of the capitals on the planet one has to think that most people are either moronic racists or incapable of recognizing a quacking duck as a duck. Does any leader of any nation need to say he puts his nation first? Do people really need high walls and fences to recognize and confirm their country’s integrity or are they simply paranoid anti-immigrant fascists and racial supremacists?
Ignorance is the treasure of lazy people
People in every nation are perishing because of the lack of knowledge or vision. The nations that deny their famine are many; in fact the ones that do not deny are hard to find. The people with the most rules and regulations are mired in corruption and deliberate misanthropy more than most.
Insensitivity dies with every sunrise
Many of us keep making sure we put our heads down at night having forgiven our fellow man when he’s wronged us. It is worth it to consider what we can do so we can work the next day with a clean slate. I need to do justice, I need to be ready to love, ready to do mercy, ready to walk humbly without God and fellow man. You do not carry you around grudges and revenge from day to day and call it justice.
Certified grace with every sunrise
With the certainty of evil every day (Matthew 6:34) and the brazen incidents of sinful and criminal behaviour breaking out in broad daylight there is no doubt that our survival through each night, when malicious agents prefer to operate, is due to intense, invincible and incomparable care and generosity. While we are sleeping evil lurks but there is one who does not sleep as the mourning, weeping, groaning Zionite reminds us.
“They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.”
“The Lord’s lovingkindnesses indeed never cease, For His compassions never fail.”
I would rather celebrate any old weekday than the festivals of our cultural heritage and religious traditions.