At a Christmas gathering last year, we read the Christmas story–a children’s picture-book version. Kids and adults alike gathered in the living room to listen to the reason for this joyous season. As the story progressed, some children–and adults–listened intently, while others half-listened, buzzed from an evening full of treats and sweets. It was an interactive story–with questions and answers–mostly from the children.
In the middle of the story, a child asked, “What’s a manger?”
Minutes later, the mother of the same child asked, “What are shepherds?”
My head slowly turned to them, realizing that this precious single mom and her child whom we’d known for almost two years had never heard the Christmas story–the true Christmas story, the story of Jesus’ birth. In two years, we increasingly spent time with them–they became part our extended family.
But in those two years, we mistakenly assumed they knew about Jesus—the real meaning of Christmas. I half-listened to the rest of the story.
Are they the only ones, Father?
- · How many people, I wonder, surround us on a routine basis who we assume know Jesus?
- · How many do we walk by without telling them of the Man who forever changed our lives?
- · How many are hurting and looking for hope that we alone have to offer?
Christmas is a perfect time not to assume that others know the real meaning of Christmas—how Jesus left his home in heaven, came to earth as a baby, lived a sinless life, suffered on a cross for our sins, rose again on the third day, and now sits at the right hand of the Father. Even more, Christ will return to bring those who have received Him as their Savior and Lord to live forever with the holy God—something we could never do on our own. What a glorious Christmas story!
Let us share that hope. Let us “preach the good news to all creation” (Mark 16:15). Let everyone in our lives know about the manger and the shepherds. But most of all, let them know about Jesus.
Jesus, Jesus! The Christ of Christmas!
Prayer: Father, help me not only to live a life that resembles Christ but also to speak more of Christ in my life. Help me to be ready to speak the Good News of Jesus–anytime, anyplace (2 Timothy 4:2). Help me not to assume they know you, but to share Jesus freely. Amen.
Please tell us about books and other resources you have used to share Christ during the Christmas season.