The Gift of Opportunity

I really love the Christmas season. Any of you who know me (Mallorie) well know that I grew up in what basically equates to Kentucky’s local version of Santa’s workshop, including a head elf (aka my mom). Christmas just brings something special with it: a sense or excitement and renewal. It is impossible to duplicate the feeling any other time of the year. In the last few years though, I have acquired a strong new feeling as well: a sense of purpose.

Germany has a lot of traditions that are founded in Christian faith, yet faith in the Christ child born to save us from our sins has gotten lost over time. For example, every single German I know has an advent wreath (Adventskranz) in their home and lights it faithfully each week. I received no fewer than five texts from girlfriends wishing me a happy (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.) advent because it such a big deal here. However, it is no longer a way of reflecting on the role of Christ in the Christmas season for most. I think we are all guilty of losing Christ in the Christmas season, regardless of how much “Jesus is the reason for the season” type of decorating we do.

As I was reading Romans 1 today, I was convicted of not allowing Christmas to be a great opportunity for to talk about Jesus as often as I should. In our home, we are really intentional about Jesus being the focus over presents and Santa, but I’m dissatisfied with myself when it comes to using that opportunity to share the gospel outside of our home. Romans 1:14-17 says:

God, whom I serve in my spirit in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you.

I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish. That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome. For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

This passage is so convicting for me. God has opened the way for us to share the love of Christ with those around us during the Christmas season. There is no other time in the year, in my experience at least, where people’s hearts are more open to Christianity and the word of God, and we need to seize the moment and share the good news. The savior of the world was born on Christmas to a virgin mother. He grew to be a sinless man, a bold leader, a healer, a prophet like the world had ever seen. He was convicted of nothing, yet sentenced to death by people who days before has praised him. He was betrayed by those he loved, both before and after his death. He was killed in a horrific way: death on the cross.

But. But. But. The story doesn’t end. You know it. I know it. Now let’s get excited about it. Let the love of Christ and a personal relationship with him be the greatest thing in your life this Christmas. Crack open your bible for the first time in awhile. Give yourself the gift of prayer time alone with your Heavenly Father. Share the good news of a risen savior with your friends and family who need his love and mercy. I know I need it. Merry Christmas, friends!

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