Merry Christmas: 4 Ways to Live Out the Message of Christmas in your Community
Christmas is about the greatest act of sacrifice and love ever known to man—the Son of God put on humanity with its brokenness and weakness to serve and restore us.
Christmas is a celebration of the goodness of God that invaded our darkness (Isaiah 9:2). Because of Jesus, Christmas can be a time of joy, celebration, and hope.
God and man are finally restored. He has crushed evil at its source. Through His suffering, Jesus brings healing. Through His death, He brings life. Through His sacrifice, we receive the lavish grace and mercy of God.
Yes, there is pain and suffering that we live in for now, but one day, pain will be a distant memory for us. Jesus transforms that suffering into hope.
God is making all things new in Christ. Because of Jesus, Christmas brings good news of great joy.
“A thrill of hope, the weary world rejoices for yonder breaks a new and glorious morn!”
Because of Christ, we can say the word “Merry Christmas” and really mean them. But as Christians, we can go beyond just saying the words. We can live them out. We can show the love of Christ with our lives.
Since we have been transformed by Christ’s love, we are called to share His love and hope with others. Instead of just saying “Merry Christmas,” we can show them the reason we rejoice, even in the midst of brokenness.
There’s no better time for your church to reflect the love of God to your community than Christmas. Here are four ways to put the message of Christmas on display during this season.
Emmanuel means “God with us”. God came to be with us in our brokenness and loneliness. Jesus came to comfort the broken-hearted.
They’re all around us. But too often, we forget the loneliest among us. This Christmas, consider taking time to touch their loneliness with Christ’s compassion.
It could be ministering to folks at a nursing home, homeless shelter, or jail, or it could be as simple as taking Christmas cookies to a shut-in.
Maybe your church can hold a special service at a nursing home. Include some old, familiar Christmas carols, and you’ll be sure to have a room full of folks singing along.
Or maybe your church could visit a local homeless shelter and serve a meal. Depending on which shelter you work with, this could be a great opportunity to hold a short service and present the gospel.
After touching their world, you’ll better understand how you can serve marginalized sections of your community in the future. Take time to notice them, be with them, and show them the healing love of Christ.
Jesus served multitudes of people, as He preached the gospel. Following His example, find ways to serve your community this Christmas.
Some churches serve busy, overwhelmed moms by offering free childcare in their church nursery for an evening or two in December. Others offer free gift wrapping for Christmas presents. Others have free family Christmas photos where they set up a backdrop for families to take pictures on Sunday.
One church hosted a hot chocolate stand at the local metro. Anywhere there are people in the public — the town center, mall, Candy Cane Lane, the metro — is a perfect place to set up a table and tent, and serve. Make sure to have your church info and invites available as well, as this is an awesome way to make positive contact with your community.
Encourage families in the church to capitalize on the goodwill of the season. Host neighborhood open houses, where connections are built that will open doors for the gospel. People are much more open and less suspicious in the Christmas season, and you’ll be surprised how much they appreciate the attempt to cultivate community.
Community service is an awesome opportunity to create familiarity to your church. It’s a way to reach into the lives of those who would never come to your church Sunday morning and show Christ’s love.
Pray for opportunities to serve your community, and pray that God uses those opportunities to create inroads to share the gospel in the future.
Everyone knows Christmas is about giving. But churches have give with the ultimate goal of sharing the ultimate Gift - Jesus.
Hold a toy drive for children in underprivileged families. Host a Christmas-tree giveaway. Be looking for new ways to share the gospel.
The Christmas season creates opportunities to give to your community and begin relationships, which you can capitalize on later in the year.
Not only should we give to those in our community—we must remember our fellow Christians in other countries. For many of them, Christmas is not a time of rejoicing and merriment. Persecution or extreme poverty are even more accentuated during the holidays.
The New Testament churches set the example for sending aid to struggling churches. Paul uses Jesus’ generosity as the motivation for the churches to minister to each other: “Ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, those he was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich” (2 Col 8: 9).
For example, one church launched Operation Jehovah Jireh to minister to needs of a church in Venezuela. The Venezuelan people live in extreme poverty, lacking food, medicine, and basic goods. Every participating family in the church chooses a Venezuelan family to sponsor. The church provides boxes, a list of suggested gifts, and takes care of shipping the filled boxes to Venezuela.
If you don’t have connections with a foreign church, contact one of your church’s missionaries and ask how you can better enable them to reach the needy in their area.
Remember your church’s missionaries - the families that you’ve committed to support and pray for. They’re probably missing home, and a box of goodies would mean the world to them. One missionary said it wasn’t the goodies in the box, but the fact that someone from home had thought about them and actually sent a package. Shipping is expensive, but the price is nothing compared to what it means to them.
Speak the hope of Christmas! With a little creativity, Christmas is a time unlike any other to share the gospel. If they were invited by a friend, a majority of Americans say they would come to church at Christmas.
Feeling more creative? Do a flash-mob-style Christmas story drama at the mall or metro. One church wrote the Christmas story using a mashup of Bible verses, beginning with the attention-catching line, “Who has believed our report?” from Isaiah 53:1. From there, they used line after line of Scripture to walk through the gospel, telling the story of God with us. A song or two would also add interest to the dramatic narration of the Christmas story.
Christmas is a time to make much of Christ — not just in words, but in action.
We can say Merry Christmas without touching the brokenness of humanity, but we can’t show the love of Christmas without entering a world of pain, loneliness, and hopelessness.
The only way to show love this Christmas is to be so in awe of Christ that it radically transforms us. It changes us into people who have compassion on others, including those we usually ignore or don’t even notice.
This love is not something that comes from us, but is created by His Spirit inside us. Delight in the love of Christ this Christmas, and you will find yourself loving beyond your own ability.