Burn the Devil Day…
7 December is the beginning of the Christmas season here in Guatemala. This is a catholic nation. There are many religious traditions that some would say have their roots in God’s Word. We are quick to add twists of interpretation it seems.
Today at 6:00 pm bonfires will be built and everything that causes you to sin will be cast on that fire to purify you for the season ahead. Pinatas, bright red in the shape of a devil with horns will be thrown into the fire and they are filled with firecrackers. Like a lot of celebrations in Guatemala loud is a necessary component of celebrating. La Quema del Diablo (the burning of the devil) cleanses the people of the annual sins. This is needed to make them ready for 8 December to receive into their hearts the Virgin of Immaculate Conception. Old preaching priests apparently described how the Virgin Mary crushed the head of the devil(not sure which Bible that came from). There will be a lot more firecrackers tomorrow as the faithful go and return from mass. We repeat this again on the 12th for the “Patron of the Americas” that is the Virgin of Guadalupe. There are other “Holy Days” between now and the most important one “Noche Buena” or Christmas Eve. Families will set off more firecrackers and fireworks. Everyone stays up until midnight when everyone will set off the largest amount of their fireworks and then open gifts.
God did make a promise the Satan’s head will be crushed. He made the promise to Eve in Genesis (Gen. 3:15) that the seed (masculine, singular) of woman would crush the head of the serpent. It is the Promised Messiah Who has at the cross 2000 years ago crushed the head of Satan. And tho’ Satan still squirms, he is a defeated enemy. No pinata will take his place. The only Redeemer of sin is Jesus Christ, no fire, no effigy can take His place. But He took mine (Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19).
I am sure in this month there will be many injuries around these fires. May they be brought before some of our doctor friends who are true believers and be given the opportunity to hear of the One Who will truly toss Satan into the fire (Matthew 25:41; Jude 1:6) for all eternity (Rev. 20:10). Jesus and not His mother will bring this to an end.
My maternal granddad said at times, “Don’t drink downstream from any man!” I believe the Bible is clear that each one of us will be responsible for the truth of Christ. In this age of relativism you can believe what you want to believe, you are free to follow any man or so it seems. The truth is we WILL stand one day before the One Who died for us, it will not be Mary or any other saint, or good person. It will be Jesus alone. If my sin cost Jesus His life somehow throwing a pinata on a fire seems a slap in the face of the One Who cared so much for me. Let the Word of God be your food and drink not the words of mortal men. Read the Bible for yourself, does your pastors words match? Then praise God but continue to test him against the Bible. If your pastor’s words don’t match the Bible then question him privately and watch for the results. If he will yield to the Authority of Scripture good. If he defies the Bible…. prayerfully ask the LORD for direction. Do not follow a lie.
Photos are on the Smugmug blog at: http://dennis51.smugmug.com/Other/Burning-the-Devil/10576234_yTKpT#734810456_SEFnd I have discontinued the Photo page on WordPress blog. If you miss the hummingbird photos let me know and I will add them on the Smugmug account.