On January 6th of this year, I was introduced to the Mexican Christmas tradition of Dia de los Reyes. One of my staff brought a circular cake known as a Rosca de Reyes or King’s cake. Embedded within the cake were four small figurines representing the Baby Jesus, depicting the hiding of the baby Jesus from King Herod’s troops. Anyone who slices into the cake and finds one of the figurines must bear the cost of a meal for all the participants in the following month, known as the Dia de la Candelaria.
It is wonderful to learn and participate in another cultural tradition to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ and to commemorate the giving of gifts by the wise men. Curious about the tradition, I researched it before we cut the cake. Although there is nothing in the Bible that describes such a tradition, it is based upon the Bible stories of the birth of Jesus Christ.
Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the east came to Jerusalem, saying, “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”
Matthew 2:1-2 (ESV)
When I shared the Bible passages with my staff, upon which this tradition was based upon, none realized that the Bible never mentions there were only three kings nor did they know the origins of the hidden baby figurine.
There are many traditions which we celebrate at Christmas which are never mentioned in the Bible: the visit of three kings, a Christmas tree, stockings hung over a fireplace, mistletoe-just to name a few. While there is nothing wrong to celebrate Christmas with these traditions, we must always remember that all of these traditions should direct our attention to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Yes, He is the reason for the season and we should never let anything divert our attention away from worshipping and honoring Him. My staff understands this and we all rejoiced in the birth of Jesus Christ.
Dia de los Reyes is a great tradition! And by the way…I am getting a free lunch!
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.