In addition to celebrating many of the holidays we celebrate in America like Christmas, Good Friday, Resurrection Day, Mother’s and Father’s Day, South Africans celebrate Human Rights Day—to recall the massacre of 69 people and 7,000 jailed for protesting apartheid. They celebrate their first free election as Freedom Day, as well as Reconciliation Day, which marks the end of apartheid. Holidays serve various purposes like recalling an important event, providing time for family bonding, and the renewing of our body, mind, and spirit. For these reasons, and especially for renewing their relationship with the Almighty, we find in Leviticus chapter 23 that God told ancient Israel to observe the weekly Sabbath, the Passover, marking the day He set them free from Egyptian bondage, the Festival of Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, the Festival of Harvest, and the Day of Atonement. All these were God-approved holy days, or holidays. Since these holidays were God-approved, they confirm for us that taking breaks for the right reasons are valuable. We enrich our bodies, minds, and spirits so we can more fully live peaceful and productive lives.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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