For many, the Christmas season really is the most wonderful time of the year: the tree decorating, the carol singing, the gift-giving and the 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 carry the weight 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:
“The people walking in darkness
have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of deep darkness
a light has dawned.”
As Christians, we have this deep joy that we can share, the answer to all of humanity’s problems: Jesus.
Sharing The Joy Of Christmas With Others
We all know that as well as being magical and full of that warm fuzzy feeling, Christmas can be exhausting and expensive. It can be busy and frantic. We can have an awfully awkward family Christmas. We can have a lonely Christmas.
Arguably, the most depressing day of the year is Blue Monday, the third Monday of January when all the glitz and excitement of Christmas has faded, and the realities of debt and broken relationships come to the surface. People often try to hold it all together over Christmas, and then things can fall apart in the new year.
Whatever the reality of our life circumstances, Jesus is the reason for the season. His message of hope is the Christmas cheer that we can spread, and it is good news for all who are willing to hear it.
Practical Ways To Spread Good Cheer This Year
1. Bless Your Neighbors
In your neighborhood, right where you live, you can bet there are some lonely people. Why not send Christmas cards to your neighbors or make gifts of cookies or some other treat that you can give out door to door? This is a really simple way to spread Christmas joy and you never know how a simple act of kindness can change someone’s day.
2. Spend Wisely
We can spend a fortune in the run-up to Christmas. But you have power over where you spend your money. Why not make an effort to shop local and support small businesses? You will be investing in someone’s livelihood, and boosting your local economy rather than making billionaires richer.
3. Help The Poor
Consider helping out in your community this Christmas. Is there a fundraising initiative you can get involved with? Could you give up your Christmas lunch slot to help serve Christmas lunch to the homeless? Could you spend less on gifts and give a little more to charity? These are all great ways to spread some Christmas joy.
4. Go Against The Flow
One of the simplest ways we can spread cheer is to be present with our loved ones. In our ever-increasing digital age, we can forget to really spend time engaging with those that we love.
Instead of being swept away by tides of commercialism and mania, practice adding a holy pause to your day. My family and I are going to be reading Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp this advent. It retells the big story of Jesus, from His ancestry to His birth as a baby in a manger, to His death on a cross, and His ascension to heaven. The big plan foretold in the Bible and lived out through the life of Jesus walking on this earth.
Adding a daily pause into our day can be a quiet but powerful act of rebellion against the frenzied Christmas tide.
Sharing The Good News Of Jesus At Christmas
The message of the gospel is simple at its heart. The way I was taught when at a youth camp when I was 17 was to learn these four verses:Romans 3:23, 6:23, 5:8, and 10:9. I still remember those references today so it obviously worked.
“All have sinned and fall 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 demonstrates His own love for us in this: while we were still 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 over-complicate the matter. We don’t want to offend people or put people off who are interested in our faith.
But sometimes I have to remind myself that God wants to use me; who I am, as I am, right now. And if you’re willing, He will use you.
Recently I came across a useful online tool with some words that have really opened up different gifts to me. You can take the test here.
The five gifts are re-described as:
- Light Giver (Teacher)
- Story Teller (Evangelist)
- Heart Revealer (Prophet)
- Soul Healer (Pastor)
- Dream Awakener (Apostle)
Now, I would not say that I am an evangelist particularly but a storyteller, yes I can be that. Am I qualified to be a teacher? I’m not sure, but a light giver? Yes, I can do that
The best way that we can share our faith is to be real with people and to live alongside them. They will see how we respond to the ups and downs of life. They will see real faith that shines through 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 get into conversation with anyone for any length of time, my faith just kind of comes up because it is part of who I am.
Learning To Shine
I’ll leave you with this thought:
“We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us… as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give others permission to do the same.’” Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love (London, Thorsons, 1992) p.190