Do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a new moon celebration or a sabbath day. These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.

This is the year of Pauline devotional reading for me. I will attempt to make a blog-sized summary statement of it all in a few weeks, but this morning these verses provoked my thoughts. First of all, the talk of various celebrations seemed appropriate in light of all that is going on during this Christmas season and the amount of rhetoric critiquing or applauding all the various festivities. I won’t get into that debate.

The most important thing in this little text is that these things are secondary to “the reason for the season” as it were. The reality is that divinity and humanity met in the person of Jesus Christ and that, if we take these verses in the context of what comes before and after, the best way to testify to this reality is not so much with various special events, but by wearing the every-day clothes of compassion, kindness,humility, gentleness, patience, forbearance, love, etc. [3:12-14]. We are to be the continuing reality of Christ in our world.

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