We have looked at many different practical traditions that you can make a part of your family’s Christmas celebration over the past week, today we are going to look at the most important ways that we can glorify and honor our Lord at Christmas time. By imitating the heart and love of our Savior we will point others to the most wonderful of Kings, the one who can give them true and lasting joy.
Imitate Our Messiah King
Care for the Orphans and Widows- Imitate the heart of our Savior by paying special attention to the orphans and widows around you. Consider who around you (or around the world for that matter) you can show the love of Christ to. Is there a nursing home near you? Is there an elderly, home bound member of your church you could spend time with? Can you volunteer at a shelter? Will you participate in Operation Christmas Child? Is there a needy family that you are aware of whom would be blessed by your generosity during Christmas? Look for ways to serve and give to those who are the most alone and needy this Christmas, for this is undefiled religion, this is what our Messiah loves to see his redeemed doing. Photo Credit
Care for the Church- Find special ways to honor those who serve faithfully in your church family. People who may not be recognized often are nursery workers, set up crews, sound and tech crews, small group leaders, and youth workers.Take the time to thank them for serving our Messiah King and bless them in some special way (keep in mind that a personal note of thanks is probably more appreciated than a baked good even… and more economical too).
Also remember to honor your pastors and their families during this time. They will be especially busy during this season (many will be unable to spend their Christmas with extended family as they serve the church). A practical way to serve these busy people is by offering to prepare dinner for them one night during the Christmas season as they may be too busy to come over to your home for dinner. A good meal that is already prepared is a very special blessing! Gift cards to Wal-Mart, Amazon, Target, etc… would also be excellent blessings as pastor’s families often operate on small budgets. Don’t forget those you do not see! Send Christmas cards and gifts to missionaries you have been praying for and supporting throughout the year.
Care for the Poor- Consider spending less money on gifts for your family and more on gifts that will make a lasting impact on those who have nothing. (Talk to your family about this goal before making any drastic changes to your gift buying; make it a family project!). Perhaps you will begin supporting a child through Compassion, or you will donate money to an organization that provides clean drinking water to those who are dying without it. Maybe you will buy a goat for a poor family in Asia that will provide milk for them to drink and sell. There are so many ways for us to us to help those who are truly in need! Ministries like Gospel for Asia make it incredibly easy to touch lives for God’s glory in ways we could never have dreamed of in the past. And don’t forget those who are right down the street from you at shelters, women’s centers, and even on street corners!
Care for the Persecuted Church- Look into different ways your family or you personally can encourage and strengthen the persecuted church. Check into the many opportunities that Voice of the Martyrs provides like filling an action pack for persecuted Christians, collecting blankets for Sudanese Christians, writing a letter to a Christian who has been imprisoned for his faith, or simply giving money.
Invite someone over for your Christmas Eve/Christmas day celebration who doesn’t have anywhere else to go. Let them be a part of your family and participate in your traditions. Show them that your family is different, that your family serves the Lord and not the lust for material possessions. People you might not think about are college students (especially students from other countries), elderly neighbors, and seminary students/couples.
While we were in another state for seminary we were very blessed by a family in our church who “took us in” for Christmas and allowed us to enjoy their feast with them.
Be Set Apart- All of the traditions we have discussed throughout this series are meant to be distinctly Christian. We want the world to see that we have something incredible to celebrate, something that is beautiful and wonderful and exciting, something that they will want to partake in too. Think about Christ’s character and make it your aim to display that to the world around you this Christmas. Keep spare bills in your wallet so that you are ready and able to give to The Salvation Army, to beggars on the street, to buy your friend lunch. Be prepared to share the gospel with your coworkers, fellow students, and neighbors. Make baked goods for your neighbors to show them the love of Christ and personally deliver them. Invite people to church with you on Christmas to hear the good news. Carry your faith into every aspect of your Christmas (that includes your Black Friday shopping!).