Christmas is here, ready or not! Some of my favorite memories in life are centered around the Christmas season. Being a child anticipating the opening of a gift, grandma and grandpa coming over for dinner, and now with my own children, being together and celebrating our greatest hope, Jesus. There is no doubt that Christmas signals great hope and is a reminder every year of the nature of our business here on earth. We were sent here with a mission, and the celebration of the birth of Jesus reminds us of this. Just like the star guided the wise men that night, We are now the LIGHT of the world.
“And the angel said to them, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.” Luke 2:10-11 ESV
Christmas however is FULL of distractions that detract from your light. Distraction are everywhere: Materialism, busyness, grudges, family discord, loss and loneliness to name a few. All these things are what we have been RESCUED FROM not what we are to be BOUND BY! So it’s up to us as the church, the ones carrying the message of Jesus, to live Christmas not just this week, but for the rest of our time here. Isn’t it time for us to #Bethelight?
Be Christmas Light With These 6 Words…
#1 Compassion – Jesus coming to earth was an act of compassion. God is a compassionate God who sent his only son Jesus here for the forgiveness of our sins. Now it is our turn: Have compassion on someone today.
“For the Lord has comforted his people and will have compassion on his afflicted.” Isaiah 49:13 #Bethelight
#2 Hospitality – Jesus welcomes us in to His family. No doubt there are those around you who are lonely. Christmas is a time to invite people in to your family, your group, your life and show them how much they are valued by you. In turn, you are literally welcoming them in to the kingdom of God. Share a meal, enjoy food and drink together and show them they belong.
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2 #Bethelight
#3 Respect – Kindness and humility go a long way to building the reputation of the church in the community. The church’s reputation rises and falls on the attitudes and actions of those who claim to follow Christ. ALWAYS show respect. He is God’s son, she is God’s daughter.
“ but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect.” 1 Peter 3:15 #Bethelight
#4 Inquire – It is amazing how listening to people builds your credibility. When you are attentive to someone’s story you gain context about what God is doing in their narrative which allows you to help. Ask a question and you may just be opening the door to someone’s eternal healing.
“let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger.” James 1:19 #Bethelight
#5 Serve – See someone who needs something? Just step in and act. The church are to be people of action, leading the way in serving the community relentlessly. Have courage and step in. This will probably inconvenience you.
“ Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves.” Luke 22:26 #Bethelight
#6 Tact – Words matter, and a loose tongue (that includes social media) can diminish or destroy your light. So the charge must be always to measure our words and say not what WE want to say but what HE wants us to say
“There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.” Proverbs 12:18 #Bethelight
May you reflect the light of CHRIST this Christmas.
Josh Conn is the founding pastor of 217church, a contemporary church in Mercer County NJ. 217church meets Sundays at 9:30am & 11:00am at Sharon Elementary school in Robbinsville, NJ. Visit www.217church.com for more information, or watch a weekend message here.