New Year’s is the biggest and most celebrated holiday in Peru. The gathering of friends usually starts a little before midnight and there are many fun traditions. Making a muñeco (doll) out of your old clothes and burning it, eating 12 grapes at midnight, wearing the color yellow, just to name a few. This year the party landed at our house (our girls were thrilled of course) where we hosted many of our Peruvian friends, mostly college age, some new believers and some newly married couples.
1. Every Christian is a saint. Usually, Peruvians make a doll out of their old clothes, and name it after someone they don’t like and burn it. We, rather, made our doll to represent the killing of the old man within us, our fallen nature, and bringing to life the new man through holy habits.
2. Every Christian is also a missionary. Normally, Peruvians take empty suitcases and run around the block, with the hope that they will travel that year. Instead, we emphasized that all Christians are sent out by Jesus (John 20:21) on mission into the world.
Lenin and Jon on their way out of the house…
3. Finally, we reflected on how every Christian is a disciple. Peruvians typically eat 12 grapes for 12 months of good luck. We said that 12 represents the 12 disciples of Jesus, who are the new people of God. We are found to be Jesus’ true disciples by the fruit we bear. Grapes are not picked among the thorns, but rather among the loving, growing, disciples of Christ.