MISSION-MINDED FAMILIES with ANN DUNAGAN: During the Christmas season, it's important to guard your family against peace-robbers like "stuff" and "striving" and "stress"; instead, remember that your purpose in life as a Christian family is simply to glorify God, day by day, and to enjoy Him forever.
This Christmas, let's focus on God's PRESENCE!
Jesus came as our Emmanuel - Our "God with us." This Christmas, let's remember that Christmas is all about Him. It's about being with Him, and taking time to enjoy His presence.
During this Christmas season, it's important to guard your family against peace-robbers like "stuff" and "striving" and "stress"; instead, remember that your purpose in life as a Christian family is simply to glorify God, day by day, and to enjoy Him forever.
Christmas is not just about giving presents to those we love, or trying to impress others by our decorated homes and fancy food; it’s about living in the PRESENCE of the Lord, and by the power of the Holy Spirit, simply sharing His PRESENCE with others.
In a Christmas Eve sermon, Martin Luther (German leader of the Protestant Reformation) encouraged his congregation to be like a manger in which Jesus can be found. May ourhearts be like that simple manger bed, prepared for the greatest gift of all: Our Savior.
On How to Be a Manger
Be soft inside.
By Barbara Germait
A few more MISSION-MINDED Christmas Ideas:
- TAKE SOME QUIET TIME: Encourage your family to take some quiet time this Christmas to pray and to worship (and plan now to bring a special worship and prayer time into your Christmas Eve or Christmas Day celebrations). Remember that Christmas is all about His PRESENCE!!!
- LEARN ABOUT THE WORLD: Learn how Christmas is celebrated in different parts of the world, such as St. Lucia Dayin Sweden and other Scandinavian countries (the legend of St. Lucia focuses on a Sicilian girl who gave away her dowry to feed the poor) orLas Posadas from Mexico and Latin American countries. You can also learn about Hanukkah (as you pray for the nation of Israel, and for Jewish families to come to know Jesus as their Messiah). Perhaps incorporate one or two new international traditions into your family celebration.
- BE A WITNESS FOR JESUS: Remember that Christmas is one of the easiest times of the year to be a strong witness for Jesus.Whenever anyone says, “Happy Holidays,” encourage your children to be bold and friendly as you respond with a cheerful “Merry Christmas!” or “Jesus Loves You!” or "God Bless You" (and don’t be afraid to invite people to your church or to a special Christ-centered event). Pray specifically for your unsaved neighbors, and perhaps deliver a plate of Christmas cookies along with hand-written cards or loving notes about God’s salvation. Visit elderly people in a nursing home and sing God-glorifying Christmas carols and talk to these precious people about the Lord. Specifically pray for relatives who need Jesus (and maybe plan a little Christmas Eve “skit” performed by your sweet non-threatening kids, to clearly share the real salvation reason for Christ’s coming to earth).
- CONTACT YOUR MISSIONARIES: Communicate a few times during December with your own missionary friends and their children. Today, most overseas missionaries and international ministers utilize online tools such as facebook, twitter,blogs, or websites, so it’s easier than ever to keep in touch. Don’t be afraid to share about your fun Christmas activities, but be sensitive and appreciative for the sacrifices they are making for Jesus to serve Him so far from home.
This Christmas, I invite you to seek God’s purposes for your family.
Let's seek His PRESENCE!