Christmas is a perfect time to talk about Jesus. People are singing songs about Him. Nativities are everywhere (no matter what you believe about the second commandment). The culture, even if they try not to, has to in some ways acknowledge Christ. Yet often times, Christians can be silent.
They’re not silent at church of course or anywhere it is socially acceptable to talk about or worship Jesus, but what about around the dinner table? What about at the office party? What about during the down time surrounded by family that maybe you don’t often see?
We are often quiet because it’s uncomfortable. We talk about other things we’re passionate about like sports, movies, or the new gadget we may have recently acquired. But Jesus is different. He’s polarizing, maybe even more so than politics. Jesus can put an edge on things or at least we feel like He can.
I think though, our fears are misled. Because salvation is such a weighty matter, we put more pressure on ourselves feeling as though there is a lot at stake. We anticipate poor reactions so much that we never actually speak up. We could even assume the worst about our hearers thus sinning ourselves and not sharing about the hope we have in Christ.
What we must realize though is that we aren’t meant to fit in with the world. We are described as a called out people. this world isn’t our home. We’re meant to be different and we should own that. Being saved by Jesus makes us different and that is by no means a bad thing.
That being said, Jesus had no faults. He was perfect. He loved people well. He said hard things at times, but He did it out of love. When we are in these situations living as called out people, we should look to Jesus’ example. Here are three ways for us to live as called out ones this Christmas (and every other time of year too).
Every motivation Jesus had was out of love for the Father. He obeyed Him perfectly and in turn also loved others perfectly. Sometimes loving was serving as we see when He washed the disciples feet or performed miracles. Sometimes love was saying hard things and acting in justice and righteousness as when He would confront the Pharisees. Sometimes love manifested itself somewhere in the middle like we see in the example of His encounter with the woman at the well.
Being imperfect people who will always fall short of the perfect motivations of Jesus, we need to realize we’ve been shown abundant grace and mercy and we will never go wrong in extending that to others. Therefore, when we find ourselves in those awkward Christmas gatherings with some family member who may always find new ways to offend us, we will never go wrong in piling on grace and mercy.
A practical way for us to pile on grace and mercy to others is to serve them. Jesus came not to be served, but to serve all the way to giving His life as a ransom for many. If we are hosting gatherings at our house then our serving easily comes in the form of hospitality. Make sure our guests are comfortable, have food and drinks, and maybe find something they enjoy watching on tv.
If we aren’t at our house then maybe serving comes in the form of doing something that interests the other person, being interested in their life and asking good questions, and helping them in whatever way you may be able. “People don’t know care what you know until they know that you care” is a timeless truth that won’t steer us wrong.
While the first two ways we mentioned are great ways to live like Jesus, we will really be missing the mark if we don’t talk about Jesus. When we love and serve people we will find they are usually open to hearing about Jesus. They may not agree with us, but it won’t be a violent conversation where we will lose their friendship as we can sometimes imagine.
As called out people, our conversations should be saturated with Christ. We have been changed. We aren’t who we used to be. We have true hope. We have true joy. We have the words of life that others are desperate to hear. We must speak up. We must share them. We can’t be afraid of being different or weird because we are and we want others to be too.
You’ve been called out for Christmas, but not just Christmas, the rest of the year too. Christmas is a great starting point. Jesus is on people’s minds—even if just subconsciously. Let’s live as called out ones. Let’s echo the angels who spoke to the shepherds, “I bring you good tidings of great joy.” The Savior has come and we must tell others.