‘Tis the Season

With Thanksgiving coming soon, the season of Advent beginning shortly after that, and Christmas right around the corner, we are stepping into the time of year when people are most open to spiritual things.

As a Christ-follower, would you consider asking God how He might want you to enter the holiday season as His representative? We have experienced Emmanuel! We know God is with us! Let us share Him in tangible ways that others might begin to experience the same through us!

We’ve likely all heard this before, but may God grant that we know and act in accord with this truth these next weeks: We have been blessed to be a blessing:

Simple practices like noticing the people God has placed near us, praying for them (even when they aren’t aware of it), and genuinely listening as we engage with them, do bless others and are meaningful ways to deepen relationships while allowing people to experience God’s love and draw nearer to Him.

There are countless resources, suggestions and ideas for practical expressions of these practices. Here is a sampling of just a few that can help you share Jesus tangibly during a season when others might just be more receptive:

  • Write a note of appreciation to someone you’ve been praying for and give it to them at Thanksgiving.
  • Initiate a Thanksgiving Day football game!
  • Bring baked goods to your neighbors at Christmas, introduce yourself if you haven’t met them before, and spend a few moments getting to know them. Help older neighbors—mow the lawn, rake leaves, shovel snow, check on them, bring a meal.
  • Offer to drive elderly folks to church.
  • Invite neighbors over for soup (ask them to bring some of the ingredients to add to the pot).
  • Host a low-key Christmas party! Gathering together doesn’t have to be a big deal!
  • Be ready to offer your presence, care, and your listening ear to another person—even when you least expect it! Maybe even while waiting on a long register line while Christmas shopping!
  • Ask yourself, “What can I do today to improve the lives of my neighbors?” Then do it.
  • Be with your neighbors in times of pain and grief, perhaps to pray with or for them—even if they are unaware of it. The holidays can be some of the loneliest times for so many.

In the words of Jesus, “You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—SHINE!” (Matthew 5:14-15, The Message)

Fran Goodrich
Southwest Regional Catalyst