12 Ways of Christmas
December 6, 2011
Tired of watching the world profit from the commercialism of Christmas but throw away the reason for the celebration? Weary of stuff like being told to say “holiday tree” instead of “Christmas tree?” While the culture at large wants to keep the party but dump the meaning, we can adjust our focus so we keep in sight the real reason for the season. Here are twelve suggestions:
1. Find a devotional guide or plan out a Bible reading schedule to carry you through Christmastime with daily meditations on Christ’s advent, incarnation, virgin birth, and Davidic lineage. If you haven’t done so already, memorize the Christmas story in Luke 2: There were shepherds abiding in the field . . .
2. Pray. Make a list of the people in your life who need to encounter the love of Christ. Pray for them and ask God to give you opportunities to share. Remember the persecuted church—especially our brothers and sisters in Darfur.
3. Correspond. Include the Good News in annual Christmas letters. Choose cards with a message, or consider producing your own. Give away “Jesus” videos when you go Christmas caroling. If you support a child through an organization such as World Vision or Compassion International, tuck in some Christmas-themed stickers with your greeting card.
4. Decorate. Let your Christmas tree serve as a reminder that Jesus hung on a tree so that one day we might be invited to eat freely from the tree of life. Place your crèche in a central location, but leave the cradle empty until Christmas morning—when you make a grand celebration of the baby’s arrival. And place the wise men across the room from the nativity scene, inching them closer each day until they arrive on Epiphany—January 6.
5. Invite. Ask unchurched friends to join you in attending a Christmas production. Invite neighbors over for dinner and share about what Christmas means to you. Take a child shopping with you to buy toys for underprivileged kids.
6. Give wisely. For the people on your Christmas list, select gifts with eternity in view. Consider giving books, music, videos, subscriptions, tickets to special events, and art that will encourage each recipient in his or her spiritual walk.
7. Give of yourself. USA Today reports that 30 percent of Americans spend $750 or more on Christmas presents; 19 percent say they’ll shell out over $500 for gifts; and 22 percent will buy $250 worth of stuff. A mere 8 percent expect Christmas spending to be less than $100. Instead of laying out so much cash consider meaningful gifts you can create. Make a gift certificate for three hours of free childcare for a neighbor. Write your life story—including your spiritual testimony—and give copies to your kids. Get your parents’ home movies transferred to video or disk, and give copies to the whole family. Give an old family recipe in a basket full of all the ingredients. Record yourself reading a favorite Bible story and send it to your grandkids. Make a homemade book about Josiah, the eight-year-old king, for your favorite eight-year-old.
8. Give food. Take a basket of Christmas dinner food to someone in need. If you have children, take them with you and talk about the One who said, “It’s better to give than to receive.”
9. Clear your shelf. If you have ten different versions of the Bible, donate a few. This article tells you how the Bible Foundation can help.
10. Clean your attic. If you have extra bedding, pillowcases, or coats, send them to the Gospel Mission nearest you. Rather than saving it all for later, put it to good use now. If you have children’s or maternity clothing, donate it to a pregnancy resource center.
11. Invest. If people ask what you want for Christmas, provide the name of your favorite charity and ask them to make a donation instead of buying you another pink lampshade
12. Go. Spend time visiting shut-ins or teaching literacy. Build bridges so you can cross them to share Christ’s love. Don’t limit yourself to Christian charities—your work in a secular setting could provide you with opportunities to be “salt and light” among other volunteers who would never go to church. And before you hang your calendar for the new year, consider blocking out some days for a short-term missionary trip. Plan to spend time in a different culture—whether at home or abroad—leading VBS, teaching English, coaching sports, practicing medicine, or distributing food and clothing in the name of Christ. Lend your expertise for the furtherance of the gospel and 2012 will be a year filled with joy.
- Michael Ernest published the blogpost Meet Worship leader Bridgett Kern, listen to new single.
- Brian Dodd published the blogpost 7 Habits Of An Unhealthy Culture vs. 7 Habits Of A Healthy Culture.
- Edgar Galdamez published the blogpost The Life of a Pastor: Service, Stress, Solitude, Sacrifice.
- George Bullard published the blogpost Are Millennials Different than Baby Boomers 40 Years Ago?.
- Dave Dunham published the blogpost A Review of “Loss of Sadness” by Allan Horwitz and Jerome Wakefield.
- Patricia Hunter published the blogpost Labor Day::thankful for the gift of work and the labor of love....
- Lee Sah Lim published the blogpost Bangkok IV: Damnoen Saduak Floating Market And MBK Center.
- Brad Hambrick published the blogpost Psalm 88 Sermon Follow Up: “Will Life Ever Get Better?”.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Are You Engaged With Teenagers Where They’re Growing Spiritually?.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost 5 Roles Youth Workers Play In The Lives Of Teenagers.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost 6 Tips for Creating Structure and Boundaries in Ministry.
- Kelly Balarie published the blogpost Bible Verses for Perfectionists: Finding Your True Worth.
- solomon david published the blogpost 6 Must to Have Skills That Every Magento Store Developer Should Consider.
- solomon david published the blogpost Cloud Gaming Fun With Microsoft’s DeLorean Available Soon.
- solomon david published the blogpost 6 Amazing Paid iPhone Applications that Available for Free Right Now.
- Matt Perman published the blogpost Tim Ferriss on the Importance of Being Unconventional.
- Barbie Swihart published the blogpost Journey To The High Places: On The Shores of Loneliness (Week 7).
- Adam Smith published the blogpost Labor Day, Your Marriage, and Your Family – Jackie Bledsoe.
- Judy Douglass published the blogpost How We Got Here: Live Alive Guest Post by Jordan Stroman.
- Brian Dodd published the blogpost 14 Practices Of Senior Pastors Who Grow Great Churches.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Teens Are Getting Pickier About The Brands They Display On Their Clothes.
- Bill Reichart published the blogpost Two Prayers That Will Inspire And Provoke The Soul.
- Martin KnoxGood bye, Faith Village. Thank you, Brad Russell, for what you have contributed to the work of the Kingdom.
- Greg Flagg published the blogpost Prayer for the Twelfth Sunday after Pentecost (Ordinary Time).
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Florida City Makes It Illegal to Wear Your Pants Too Low.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost MTV Bloodstained Hypocrisy of Hollywood’s Violence Profiteers.
- Mike Liebler published the blogpost Marine Just Issued An Epic Challenge To The Black Community And The Ferguson Rioters.