I spent a day this week with my daughter, who is a social media communications and marketing manager. We were talking about upcoming holidays and she said that in the marketing and communications world, holidays were always important – a chance to promote something. She said you can piggyback any holiday to a marketing campaign.
This made me think. Do Christians effectively use holidays and other special events to promote the most important person in our lives?
Christmas isn’t a holiday that we believers claim as our own. People of all beliefs or none at all use the early winter as a time of celebration. In the third century, however, Augustine claimed that Jesus had chosen to be born on the shortest day of the year for symbolic reasons. Though pagan tradition has used the winter solstice for festivities to celebrate the start of days becoming longer, we as believers have used that reference as proof that Jesus is truly the light of the world.
Easter is another piggyback holiday. The word itself is derived from a pagan goddess that was celebrated during the month of April. Aligning Easter, or as we often refer to it as Resurrection Sunday, to the Hebrew celebration of Passover is how we have made sure to celebrate the most important day in Christian history.
But what about other holidays? Have we been effectively using times of celebration to bring the love of Jesus Christ to our friends and family?
Speaking of love, the next big holiday on the calendar that is approaching is Valentine’s Day. Certainly, Christ’s love for us is the most compelling love the world has ever known. Do we use that day just to give people closest to us boxes of chocolate or cards, take our spouse or significant other out to dinner? Or can we use it as a day to bring people to the love of Jesus Christ?
On July 4th, instead of just celebrating our independence from tyranny, we can proclaim our freedom from sin and separation from God. On Labor Day, instead of taking a day of rest, we can be reminded that our work bringing the Good News of our Savior should never stop and be encouraged by 1 Corinthians 15:58, “Therefore, my beloved brothers and sisters, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor in not in vain.”
Halloween is a hard one. It’s a day the world celebrates darkness. We, however, have used it as a day to introduce our community to our church through the Harvest Festival. We need to be sure we also shine a light in all that is good in the love of our Lord.
Thanksgiving, on the other hand is easy. Probably the easiest of all to declare our thankfulness to God for all He has given us and to share that love and the salvation message to others.
Yup, as followers of Jesus, we have to be marketing strategists. That’s what we are called to do in Matthew 28:16-20, “…go and make disciples of all nations…” Are we doing it?