This was the first Christmas for our family (the Weatherlys) in Spain. We had fun learning the traditions and different ways that Christmas is celebrated here in Spain as opposed to the USA. One of the most notable differences is that there are nativity scenes everywhere, in town squares, shops etc… People know the reason we celebrate Christmas, is because of the birth of Christ. They may not be scared to show this as so many seem to be in the USA, but for many, this is just a tradition, it doesn’t actually mean anything. We know this because statistics (mine taken from Operationworld.org) show that less than 2% of the population are Christ followers. Many will say they are Christians or Catholic, but don’t necessarily have a relationship with Jesus.
Another thing that we learned this Christmas season is that King's Day (January 6th) is almost more celebrated than Christmas itself. Traditionally, this is the day that we celebrate the kings or magi bringing gifts to Jesus. This is the day, in Spain, that the gift-giving happens. Instead of Santa Claus, the three kings are said to come and leave gifts for children. There are parades and treats, much like Christmas. The main treat is a cake, called a Rosca de Reyes. In this cake there is a king figurine, and it is said whoever gets the piece of cake with the king will have good luck this year. It’s a fun tradition, much like a wishbone. Our family went to a parade in a nearby village and our 4-year-old son found the king in his slice of cake. He was so excited.
It got me thinking about how so many of the people celebrating the kings entry into the village really didn’t know the King who we are actually meant to be celebrating. They don't realize how much their life would change if they found the actual King, instead of a figurine.
Please take a moment and pray for the people of Spain, to find the true King of Kings, the only one who can truly change their lives for the better — no luck needed.
2 Corinthians 5:17, "Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!"