A believer reflected that with the Mid-Autumn Festival approaching, it is estimated that there will be some extreme believers who urge that the traditional festival be abandoned due to its pagan origin.
These believers are correct in understanding its origin, but abandoning it is only a radicalized idea of a small number of believers that does not represent the views of the vast majority of Chinese Christians.
Many Christian brothers and sisters will celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival by watching the full moon, eating moon cakes, and joining a variety of festive recreational activities.
Actually, the core meaning of this festival in the contemporary era is not the so-called pagan meaning nor is the festival merely about entertainment. Its meaning lies in the yearning for a better reunion. People look up at the sky to see a full moon and start to think of relatives and friends afar, recalling the good time of being together with them, and counting on the good expectations of another reunion. Therefore, the Mid-Autumn Festival is also known as the reunion festival.
However, in real life, in addition to working and studying, many families cannot reunite because of various contradictions within the family. The rapid development of society's economy has given people a richer life materially speaking, but has also made people less affectionate and even indifferent towards each other. This has become a growing social problem. Some family members are not very warm towards each other and simply "go through the motions" as they celebrate the festival. Some families simply do not exchange greetings. They have already been divided even though the day is meant to be a day for reunion.
Jesus once said, "Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called sons of God." (Mathew 5:9) Only when there is a harmonious relationship between people can there be a real reunion. If there is resentment and conflict amongst people during a time of reunion, despite them watching the moon, eating moon cakes, and doing a lot of recreational activities together, it is only superficial with no substantive reunion. Therefore, in order to be a happy reunion, we need to try our best to help people have harmony in their relationships.
Harmony is a bond based on love for each other and its prerequisite should be a full measure of love. Because of selfishness found in human nature, people tend to be quick to hate, treat only their own people with kindness, and be resentful to those who hurt them even seeking revenge.
This is not in the teachings of Jesus Christ, who has repeatedly told us to forgive. Because everyone has original sin and is incomplete, inevitably their deeds will hurt others. But Christ's great love forgives man's fault, it washes away sin and brings a heavenly blessing. Christ forgives us without regard to our past sins. With such a love, even for those who have shed blood, what reasons do we have not to forgive others. (Mark: 11:25-26)
Christians should seek the blessings of peacemaking, refrain from seeking rights and wrongs among others, and forgive those who have hurt us. Even if the others cause us suffering, we must learn to forgive and treat them with the love of Christ (Romans 12:19-21).
- Translated by Charlie Li