It’s common during this season to see yard signs and church marquees that say, “Keep Christ in Christmas.” In certain places, “Merry Christmas” is replaced with “Happy Holidays.” However, as God’s people, the Christmas season is a perfect time to let our light shine and keep the focus on the Lord.
As we see yard signs and church marquees, how do we “keep Christ in Christmas?” I suggest the following actions to keep Jesus front and center of our family gatherings and Christmas fellowships. And, as you have the opportunity, say “Merry Christmas” to people in retail and public places. That’s an easy way to keep Christ in Christmas!
- Read the Christmas story. Before gifts are exchanged, it’s powerful to read Luke 2, Matthew 1, or John 1. Reading the Christmas story is an intentional way to minister to family members, friends, or colleagues. God promised that His Word wouldn’t return void (Is. 55:11). If available, children are great at reading the Christmas story. Hearing the stories of Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the wise men, and Jesus keep “the main thing the main thing.”
- Attend the church’s Christmas Eve service. Bradfordville’s Christmas Eve service is scheduled to begin at 5:30pm. The service is expected to last an hour or so. Leading your family to attend is a great way to be a witness. We’ll sing many Christmas carols, hear a message from God’s Word, and observe the Lord’s Supper. Christmas Eve is a special and beautiful time to worship Jesus with your family and church family.
- Help another person/family in need. Jesus said that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). As you meet the needs of another person or family, God is honored. He gave His Son for us (Jn. 3:16). Giving to others allows us to behave like Him. The biblical command is to meet people’s needs, not their wants.
- Practice biblical stewardship in gift giving. Jesus said more about money than He did about heaven or hell. Biblical stewardship calls us to spend less than we make. As we give gifts to people, we honor Jesus by being financially responsible. Excessive debt limits our ability to give to God’s work. Spending responsibly over Christmas means that we can walk to the mailbox in January with peace, not panic.
- Give to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering. Southern Baptists’ are committed to fulfilling the Great Commission (Mt. 28:19-20). Giving to the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering supports thousands of missionaries, as they share Jesus, disciple believers, develop leaders, and plant churches. Our offering goal is $25,000. One hundred percent of the offering goes to support God’s servants and their ministries. You can give to the offering until the end of the month. Offering envelopes are in the pew racks.
- Pray for “open doors” to share Jesus. Do you have family members, friends, or colleagues who need Jesus? As you gather with them during the Christmas season, ask the Lord to “open doors” for you to share Jesus. You don’t have to be pushy or manipulative. Paul asked God’s people to pray for him and for “open doors” (Col. 4:2-4). Have you asked God’s people to pray for you? Being intentional about engaging people in spiritual conversations allows us to keep Christ in Christmas.
- Display Christ-like behaviors toward difficult people. Gathering with family members and attending workplace Christmas functions isn’t always easy. Difficult people are often present. Modeling Christ-like behaviors is a testimony to people. Paul made it clear that believers need to display patience, compassion, kindness, forgiveness, and love (Col. 3:12-14). The world seeks to ignore or get even with difficult people. Extra grace is required for many people! Ask the Lord to use you this season to love difficult people.
The Singing Christmas Tree allowed us to “love outward.” I applaud Brother Eddie and the many people that served on or around the tree and behind the scenes. The Lord used you! What a blessing to pastor Bradfordville First Baptist Church!
Keeping Christ in Christmas!