|Vol. 14 No. 4 April 2012||
Mark T. Tonkery
The following story came across my email the other day, and although it is not true, I would like to make an important point with it. The story goes as follow:
In Florida, an atheist created a case against Easter and Passover Holy days. He hired an attorney to bring a discrimination case against Christians and Jews and observances of their holy days. The argument was that it was unfair that atheists had no such recognized days. The case was brought before a judge. After listening to the passionate presentation by the lawyer, the judge banged his gavel declaring, “Case dismissed!” The lawyer immediately stood, objecting to the ruling saying, “Your honor, How can you possibly dismiss this case? The Christians have Christmas, Easter and others. The Jews have Passover, Yom Kippur and Hanukkah, yet my client and all other atheists have no such holidays…” The judge leaned forward in his chair saying, “But you do. Your client, counsel, is woefully ignorant.” The lawyer said, “Your Honor, we are unaware of any special observance or holiday for atheists.” The judge said, “The calendar says April 1st is April Fool’s Day. Psalm 14:1 states, ‘The fool says in his heart, there is no God.’ Thus, it is the opinion of this court, that, if your client says there is no God, then he is a fool. Therefore, April 1st is his day. Court is adjourned!”
As I was thinking about this fictitious story, I realized that this year April Fool’s Day and Palm Sunday fall on the same day! April Fool’s Day is of course a secular holiday centered on practical jokes and mischief. Palm Sunday is the day remembered in the Bible as the “triumphal entry” of Jesus into Jerusalem, exactly one week before His resurrection (Matthew 21:1-11).
Think about this; our calendar has given us a choice of which “holiday” we will celebrate: Am I going to be a fool and reject Christ or exalt Him as King? Will we shout “Hosanna” or “Crucify Him”? Which “holiday” will you celebrate and honor?
The apostle Paul reminds us in Romans 14:5-8:
“One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself, and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s.”
You see, as human beings we only have two choices, to serve Christ or reject Him! Paul reminds Christians that each day is to be observed in honor of the Lord! So, how will you use this day? By the way, in 2012 the day that we have been discussing is also the first day of the week – resurrection day or the Lord’s Day! Did you honor the Lord or did you play the fool?
[Editor's Note: Neither brother Tonkery nor I endorse or promote the so-called Christian world's view of the manmade holiday observances of Palm Sunday, Easter, Christmas, etc. Simply, the unique circumstance on the calendar this year, the amusing little, made-up story and the rival inclinations of people to be religious or irreligious led to making a valid point with this illustration. We need to reflect on the point taken. ~ Louis Rushmore]
Throughout history, God has called various men to fulfill His purposes. We are probably familiar with the question God raised to the prophet Isaiah when he said, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” to which Isaiah responded, “Here am I, send me” (Isaiah 6:8). Likewise, when God spoke to Moses out of the burning bush, Moses also said, “Here am I” (Exodus 3:4). However, instead of saying, “send me,” as did Isaiah, Moses basically said, “Send Aaron” (Exodus 3:13-14). One man made himself available to God, while the other man made excuses. While God does not call us in the same manner today as he once did, he calls us nonetheless. God still needs men and women to fulfill his purposes. Will you say, “No” to God? When your help is needed in your local church, when you’re called upon to meet a need (e.g. teach a class, publicly serve in the worship, maintenance at the building, promote and attend special services through the week, visit the sick, transport people to and from church, prepare meals for the sick and shut-ins, etc.), do you make excuses? Do you say, “No”? Or, do you say, “Here am I, send me?” When examining the life of Moses, it is easy to see the error of having a “Here am I, send Aaron” attitude. However, like many things, it is just harder to see the same error when we embrace it ourselves. Take a good look at your own life. Have you been telling God, “No?” Which response to God’s call describes you best, “Here am I, send me?” or “Here am I, send Aaron?” Give it some thought.