For Christmas to be truly fulfilling to a Christian it needs to include sharing Christ with unbelievers. Since we’ve been in North Africa we have made yearly efforts to share Christ in simple and not-s0-simple ways. Here are a few we have done that might spark your own creativity:
- Plan an evangelistic Christmas meeting with your small group. Our church is our small group. Next Sunday we will hold a service designed entirely for friends who are not believers. Everyone has been praying for this and submitting names all month. We’ll have a shorter than normal sermon on the purpose of the incarnation, a ton of food, and games. This meeting gets everyone focused outward during as season son family oriented that it inspires songs like, “I’ll be home for Christmas”, “Home for the Holidays”, and more.
- Buy presents for EVERYONE. My wife is the gift giver in our home and this year she is buying a present for everyone we know…almost. She is keeping the cost at around $5 per person (and cheaper with homemade goodies) so with a hundred dollars extra we are spreading the love wide to almost 40 other people. Why? God came to man on a merciful rescue mission! That is a reason to celebrate with gift giving! Unbelievers buy gifts for their kids, parents, and even the occasional cousin who got chosen from the gift lottery during Christmas. BUT it takes a real believer to shock the employee’s sons, the doorman, the doctor’s receptionist, and friends near and far with a gift. A simple explanation of WHY I am giving you this gift shouldn’t be taken for granted.
- Intentionally invite some displaced friends over to the house. Again, Christmas can become suffocatingly family oriented. One way to focus your family outward is by inviting over some college students from out of town to sip hot chocolate and eat Christmas cookies. The students coming by our place next week are Muslim and only know Christmas from what they’ve seen in Western movies.
- Invite one or two unbelievers into an intimate gathering of believers. This is a bit different that the first idea because the meeting is not about evangelism. It is an opportunity for the unbeliever to watch our love for one another. Today we had a Christmas party for believing friends and intentionally had two or three unbelievers. They were overwhelmed with how outnumbered they were by Christians in the room…an ironic turn of the tables from the situation outside of that room. They got a low pressure way to observe the Christmas message in action. We have seen at least one young lady come to Christ this way.
- Share the deeper things of the incarnation with your children. It is easy to overlook your children as potentially lost people who need the gospel during Christmas. Our kids have had a lot of questions that Christmas helped answer, like, “How could God become a man?” and “Why didn’t God come to save people earlier if he loved them?” and “How would God learn to walk and talk?” You will need to know these answers first, of course. Don’t take the theology behind Christmas for granted.