MERRY CHRISTMAS!!! Well, almost. However, with the last few days before Christmas quickly closing in, are you ready to celebrate the birth of Jesus? What about your Christmas Mission? Have you thought about it?
It’s difficult to be completely prepared for the flurry that occurs during Christmas and New Years celebrations. Those of us who are Born-again know that JESUS is the reason for the season, and every season beyond. But we have to be careful or we can run past the Christ of Christmas as well.
Our utmost prayer for you, as it is for us —is that we won’t allow what’s MOST important to be ambushed by that, which really won’t matter a hundred years from now. It’s easy to get caught up in the wrappings and trappings, and all the superficial glitz. There’s also the trap of the idealized sentimentality that’s presented through the media (leading many people to depression).
Christmas Mission Opportunities
Actually, there’s really nothing wrong with so much of the activity that goes on during this season. It can give us great opportunities to witness and pour out the love of Christ (especially to those who are hurting). Lets just make sure that as we take advantage of this “season” we don’t get distracted from “living Christ.” We must not neglect what’s REALLY important. It’s the mission of celebrating the gift of Jesus Christ with those around us!
I’ve complained in recent years that the “world” is commercializing Christmas more and more and earlier and earlier. But author Ace Collins pointed out something important which I over-looked. He said:
“Christmas is the only Christian holiday that is celebrated worldwide. Even in non-Christian countries. Therefore, by opening Christmas up for weeks and weeks and weeks, we have an open door as Christians, to talk about the real meaning of Christmas that much longer.”
Think about it.
We know there’s debate going on concerning WHEN the event of Christ’s birth occurred. It’s different from when we actually celebrate “Christmas.” (To find out more, click onto the Crosswalk.com article to read, Was Jesus Really Born on December 25th?) And then there’s debate surrounding how the holiday of Christmas originated. Some give it Christian originality and others a pagan one that Christians adopted. (To find out more, please click onto the Crosswalk.com link to read: Should Christians Celebrate Christmas and the Birth of Jesus Christ?) We’ve heard convincing arguments from all sides. But isn’t there a more important point to all of this?
Doesn’t the entire Christmas “season” as well as the day we celebrate Christ’s birth give us opportunity to be a “light on a hill”? Doesn’t that give us a Christmas mission? We’re told in Matthew 5:14-16:
“You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.”
Light of Christ
Are you allowing the Light of Christ to shine through you in your home and wherever you go? God tells us in Galatians 6:9-10:
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.”
Also in Colossians 4:5, we’re told, “Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders and make the most of every opportunity.” And in Ephesians 5:15, “Be very careful how you live —not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.”
God tells us in the Bible in 1 Corinthians 10:23-24, “’Everything is permissible’ —but not everything is beneficial. ‘Everything is permissible’ —but not everything is constructive. Nobody should seek his own good, but the good of others.”
So, as you see opportunity this Christmas season, seek out “permissible” times that are “beneficial” to “do good” for others. Make sure this includes your marriage partner. Share the love of Christ wherever you are. Share Christ, live Christ, and communicate the gospel with and without words. Don’t hide the Light of Christ —SHINE!
I love the title of a broadcast, which Ace Collins was involved in, titled, “Reclaiming Christmas.” We need to do that. We need to reclaim Christmas and allow God to have His rightful place. In this broadcast Ace said, “The key to Christmas is slowing down, stopping, looking around, and listening. And if you do those things you will change.” And frankly, so will the countenance of others as Christ ministers through you into their lives, to touch their hearts.
During this season, there is a lot of emphasis on gift-giving. But in reality don’t you think the greatest gift you could share with them is the love of Christ? Live out what God tells us in 1 Corinthians 13:4-7:
“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.”
The following is a poem (author unknown) that could help you to celebrate Christmas God’s way. We’ve also added a few comments surrounded by parenthesis. We pray it’s a blessing to you!
FIRST CORINTHIANS 13 —Christmas Version
If I decorate my house perfectly with plaid bows, strands of twinkling lights and shining balls, but do not show love to my family, I’m just another decorator.
If I slave away in the kitchen, baking dozens of Christmas cookies, preparing gourmet meals and arranging a beautifully adorned table at mealtime, but do not show love to family, I’m just another cook.
And if I work at the soup kitchen, carol in the nursing home and give all that I have to charity, but do not show love to my family, it profits me nothing.
If I trim the spruce with shimmering angels and crystal snowflakes, attend a myriad of holiday parties and sing in the choir’s cantata but do not focus on Christ, I have missed the point.
Love stops the cooking to hug the child (and the husband).
Love sets aside the decorating to kiss the husband; (maybe even a “10 second kiss” —see Marriage Message #20 – Biblical rules for a Happy Marriage, rule #5.) (Also —to the husband: a great way to express love to your wife is to help with the decorating without grumbling. Just ask your wife, “What can I do that would help you the most?”)
Love is kind, though harried and tired. (Remember —if you’re too busy to be kind, you’re too busy!)
Love doesn’t envy another’s home that has coordinated Christmas china and table linens. (There’s always a price to pay for everything, financially and sometimes relationally. If your decorating takes away from the peace and joy you’re to enjoy with your loved ones, is it really worth the cost? What do you believe Christ would have you do?)
Love doesn’t yell at the children to get out of the way, but is thankful they’re there to be in the way. (Will your children be able to look back and say, “I loved Christmas at home with my parents —it was such a happy, peaceful, and loving place!”?)
Love doesn’t give only to those who are able to give in return, but rejoices in giving to those who can’t.
Remember: love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
Love never fails.
Video games will break, pearl necklaces will be lost, and golf clubs will rust. But giving the gift of love will endure. (It truly is “the gift that keeps on giving!”)
Think About Your Christmas Mission
Yes, material gifts are nice, no doubt. But bringing “peace on earth” into your home by loving your spouse and family as God loves them is a gift that is priceless! And finding ways to spread joy to others outside of your home, whether it’s a smile, or a compliment, a helping hand, a cheerful greeting or good-bye to a clerk could brighten up their day and make this season brighter for them as well.
Think about it. Pray about it. Make it your mission this Christmas and throughout the New Year to live Christ. And may your CHRISTmas be a blessed one!
Cindy and Steve Wright
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