Christmas... again

Ok, so here we are yet again. It comes round every year. Some Christians ignore it. Some Christians believe it to be only pagan. Some Christians enter into it with gusto, joy and merriment. Some Christians just don’t know. Non-Christians don’t know what the fuss is about and just enjoy it. The subject, of course, is Christmas.

So, what are we as Christians to make of it. After all most of the non-Christian folk around us see it as essentially a Christian festival. That’s why Church attendance is at its highest in the year at Christmas time. While there are disagreements among Christians about whether we should celebrate Christmas I won’t be focusing on this issue. In my family we celebrate Christmas with gusto and merriment but even if you don’t ‘celebrate’ Christmas there are a few ways we should all, as Christians make use of Christmas time.

Firstly, however Christmas has got to be a celebration, it just so happens that it is a great time to remember and thank God for the coming of Christ. The opportunity to focus especially on the fact that God entered into this world and took on a human body to be like us so that he could suffer with us and die for us is stunning. To be made to think about Jesus coming and birth can never be a bad thing especially if it drives us to praise him.

Make sure your focus over the next few weeks is Christ. For those of us who do celebrate Christmas, it is so easy to get excited about the wrong things, be that presents, meeting up with friends who we haven’t seen for a long while or just getting a holiday. But in the providence of God he has ordained that this time of year comes about and we are to use it to point our hearts, thoughts and prayer to him.

Secondly, as already mentioned, Christmas time offers unparalleled gospel opportunity. Non-Christian family and friends all celebrate it and the question must be presented to them: why? An opportunity to talk to people that we are related to, know, or work with such as this is unique and should be used well. This is one thing that perhaps we forget about but yet is still a very valid consideration. The opportunity to give a non-Christian a Christian book. Even the opportunities to speak to people on the street about Christmas or go around carol singing to speak about the gospel are to be jumped at. This is the time of year when non-Christians are most open to speaking about Christian things. Why not invite your neighbours round to your house for mince pies and get to know them better over Christmas? Speaking to people about the real meaning of Christmas needn’t be daunting or scary.

The message that we as Christians believe, if it didn’t come from God, would be unbelievable. A message of true hope, true lasting joy. A message of salvation and grace. And that is worth both celebrating and telling others about.

Pray:
  • Remember to thank God for the amazing gift of his Son and that he came “while we were still sinners” to die for us.
  • Pray for the worldwide church for whom Christmas isn’t as joyful a time as it is for us. In many countries, especially those with a Muslim majority. Christian festivals are often times of greater violence against Christians. Uphold our brothers and sisters in prayer.
  • Pray that many people who don’t know Christ would be made to think about him this Christmas. I often find it helpful to pray for people by name to be saved.

Article by Thomas van den Broek

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