For many people, the Christmas season is truly the best time of the year: decorating the tree, singing carols, giving gifts and spending time with loved ones. But as Christians, we have even better news; the fact that Jesus came to earth as a baby to bring light to our fallen world, to bear the burden of sin and, ultimately, to reconcile us to the Father. So how can we share the joy of Christmas with others?
Isaiah 9:2 reads:
“Those who walk in the dark
saw a great light;
on those who live in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.”
As Christians, we have a deep joy we can share that is the answer to all of humanity’s problems: Jesus.
Share the Joy of Christmas With Others
We all know that besides the magic and filled with that warm fuzzy feeling, Christmas can be exhausting and expensive. It can be busy and frenetic. We can have an extremely awkward family Christmas. We can have a lonely Christmas.
Arguably, the saddest day of the year is Green Monday, the third Monday in January when all the glitz and excitement of Christmas has faded, and the reality of debt and relationships brokenness revealed. People often try to keep things together over Christmas, and then things can fall apart in the new year.
Regardless of our actual living situation, Jesus is the reason of the season. His message of hope is one of Christmas joy that we can spread, and that is good news for all who want to hear it.
Practical ways to spread joy this year
1. Bless your neighbors
In your neighborhood, right where you live, you can bet there are some lonely people. Why not send a Christmas card to your neighbor or make a gift of cookies or some other gift that you can give to your door? This is a really simple way to spread the Christmas cheer and you never know how a simple act of kindness can change someone’s day.
2. Spend wisely
We can spend a large amount of money in the run-up to Christmas. But you have a right to where you spend your money. Why not make an effort to shop locally and support small businesses? You will invest in someone’s livelihood and boost your local economy rather than making billionaires richer.
3. Helping the Poor
Consider helping your community this Christmas. Are there any fundraising initiatives you can join? Can you give up your Christmas lunch to help serve Christmas lunches to the homeless? Can you spend less on gifts and give a little more to charity? These are all great ways to spread some Christmas cheer.
4. Going Upstream
One of the simplest ways we can spread joy is to be with our loved ones. In our ever-evolving digital age, we can forget to spend time interacting with the people we love.
Instead of getting carried away by waves of commercialism and euphoria, practice adding a pause in your day. My family and I will be reading Ann Voskamp’s Unwrapping the Greatest Gift this Advent. It tells the great story of Jesus, from His ancestors to His birth as a baby in a manger, to His death on the cross and His ascension. The great plan was foretold in the Bible and expressed in the life of Jesus while walking on this earth.
Adding a daily pause to our day can be a quiet but powerful act of rebellion against the wave of Christmas frenzy.
Sharing the Good News of Jesus at Christmas
The message of the gospel is very simple. The way I was taught in a youth camp when I was 17 years old was to study these four verses: Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, and 10:9. I still remember those references today so obviously it worked.
“Everybody has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.”
“The wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
“But God shows His love for us in this: while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
That is the gospel in a nutshell. Jesus died for us, He paid the price for our sins and if we believe in Him, we will be saved.
Sharing our faith can be intimidating. We don’t want to get something theologically incorrect or complicate matters. We do not want to offend others or offend those who care about our faith.
But sometimes I have to remind myself that God wants to use me; Who am I, who am I, right now. And if you are willing, He will use you.
Recently, I came across a useful online tool with some words that has really opened me up to different gifts. You can take the test here.
The five gifts are described as follows:
- Light giver (teacher)
- Storyteller (Storyteller)
- Heart Revealer (Prophecy)
- Soul healer (Pastor)
- Dream Awakener (Apostle)
Now, I wouldn’t say that I’m particularly a evangelist but a storyteller, yes, I could be. Am I qualified to be a teacher? I’m not sure, but a light giver? Yes, I can do it
The best way we can share our faith is to be honest with people and live by their side. They will see how we react to the ups and downs of life. They will see true faith shine through in life’s difficulties.
If I feel particularly shy about sharing the gospel with someone, I ask God to prompt them to ask me about my faith. I find that if I talk to anyone for an extended period of time, my beliefs emerge because it’s a part of who I am.
Learn to shine
I’ll leave you with this thought:
“We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to manifest the glory of God within us… when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously allowing others to do the same.’” Marianne Williamson, Back to love (London, Thorsons, 1992) p.190
Ian Schneider’s photo on Unsplash
Annie Spratt’s photo on Unsplash
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