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Christmas in October!

Read: Numbers 15:37-41

And it shall be a tassel for you to look at and remember all the commandments of the LORD. (v. 39)

Betty’s father had hand-carved the ornate and detailed nativity set, finishing the Holy Family only a few months before he died. Every December, the family took turns carefully setting it up in various formations across the fireplace mantle. That eight-piece heirloom had been a family treasure. Now it was gone.

While Christmas decor is hardly considered an essential element for sustaining life, it nevertheless serves to remind us of people and things we value: memories, family, and even more so, our faith. Nativity scenes, angels, wrapping paper . . . all of it, for thousands of people, had washed away in the toxic, tepid waters. One church decided to address this situation: “If you were flooded and lost all your Christmas decorations, free replacements today in Sanford. Artificial trees, linen, stockings, candles . . . all new items.”

Why would they do this? Because remembering and celebrating our faith is not only cultural, it’s biblical. The Israelites were not asked, they were commanded to sew a tassel upon their garment. Why? As a visual reminder of God and his commandments so that they, God’s chosen people, would remember who they were and to whom they belonged. For modern-day believers, Christmas and all its physical trappings affords us the same opportunity: to display a tangible and physical memorial to our faith in Jesus. —Tammy DeRuyter

As you pray, ask him to show you visual reminders of our faith and that he is the Lord our God.

About the Author

Tammy DeRuyter

Tammy DeRuyter is a former stockbroker turned student of theology and history. She holds master’s degrees in both from Fuller Theological Seminary and Central Michigan University. Married for more than 25 years to Michael, an ordained RCA pastor, they have three emerging, young adult children ages 20, 21, and 22—the youngest of whom was adopted at 11.

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