On the first Monday of every September, we take a break to pay tribute to working men and women. Yet, while Labor Day has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1894, holidays themselves have been around for much longer.
The Old Testament outlines several feasts designed to honor God and remind the Israelites of their relationship with Him (cf. Lev. 23). When one of the Israelite’s children or someone from a surrounding nation asked about the significance of the feast, the occasion provided an opportunity to testify to who God was, what He had done or was doing, the purpose behind them, and their relationship to Him.
Christians can continue to use celebrations as opportunities to share the gospel, whether or not the event has inherent religious significance. Here are a few suggestions:
Holidays—These may center around a person or event that has influenced millions. They may celebrate the person and work of Christ (such as Christmas or Easter), which give Christians the chance to talk about the significance of the holiday. Or, they may honor the accomplishments of an historical person or event, such as Martin Luther King Day or Thanksgiving, which open the door to talk about our sovereign God’s work through individuals, people groups, and nations. A holiday of any kind may open a door to speak of spiritual things and ultimately Christ’s work on the cross.
Memorial Day and Veterans Day—These celebrate the memory of those who died for their country’s sake. While paying rightful and respectful gratitude for them, it also affords us a way to talk about the Christ who died for us.
Parades—They may represent a local or national holiday. Sometimes an attractive tract distributed to people along the parade route has caused unbelievers to contemplate their relationship with Christ. It is particularly effective if it is a day commemorating freedom that can be used as a transition to talk about the freedom there is in Christ.
Country Fairs, Concerts, Picnics, and Festivals—Sometimes a booth distributing evangelistic literature has been effective for reaching those open to spiritual things and wanting to talk.
Community-Specific Events—These cause people to think about a notable person or day that in one way or another impacted the community. Likewise, Christ can impact each community as we tell of His interest in each individual in our communities. He died for every person in every community.
Interest-Specific Events—They may center on vehicles, such as antique cars, or athletic events, such as a race. Noting the many gifts and privileges we have, they sometimes afford opportunities to talk about another gift of a greater kind (eternal life) that should not be overlooked.
Do not attempt to make a connection when there is none. But if a smooth transition can be made from a celebration today to a celebration of Christ, that opportunity should not be neglected.