Time to celebrate
One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Romans 14.5
Plenty of reasons for getting up today, not least that it is my mother's birthday: Happy Birthday, Mum/ Granny! Some Christians refer to Sunday as "the Lord's Day", to distinguish it from the other six days of the week, including Saturday, which is the Jewish Sabbath. Festivals which can fall on any day, such as Christmas, may be celebrated in certain churches along with festivals whose roots reach beyond the Christian Era, including Easter and Pentecost. Other Christians believe that all this levity is unnecessary, distracting even from the impact of Jesus' fulfilment of the law which these ceremonies evoke and his initiating a fresh start through his resurrection on the first day of the week.
Refreshingly, St Paul adopts a generous line, allowing for both attitudes, thereby ruling that it is not a big deal: do whichever seems right. What appears to me is that the Lord himself not only observed the festivals which applied in his time but he enjoyed them. Marking special occasions are an invitation to express gratitude: for events and for people, such as anniversaries and birthdays.
The day before yesterday I graduated again. This time from Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, a campus of the University of the Highlands & Islands, in Gaelic Language & Culture. Because I was distance-learning student, I was meeting many of my fellow students and graduands for the first time. The speeches and awards must have tested the patience of our guests but, for us in the spotlight, it was a moment to reflect on what we have learned and how that changed us. I feel like, in the space of 8 years, I received my heritage and began to understand what it means to be a Gàidheal. Like any ethnicity, it does not make one better than anyone else but it provides something distinctive to offer society: a worldview which, as the name suggests, is a way of looking at the world. Without it, we peer somewhat aimlessly, never really focusing.
All this talk of celebration puts one in holiday mood. Indeed it is time for a break. Please feel free to lie in rather than tune in - to these blogs. I look forward to resuming on Monday the 23rd. San eadar-ama, beannachd leibh...