I know, I know. Christmas, plus year-end responsibilities, equals one of the busiest seasons for Christian leaders. I don’t want to add to your stress, but I do want to add to your joy. And add light to those living in darkness. Let me explain.
On the Monday before Thanksgiving, during the Body of Christ time at our ministry, the staffer in charge encouraged us to think of ways we could extend Thanksgiving blessings to people we didn’t know. Ideas flew around the room, and God laid a few on my heart. Here’s how it played out through the week:
TUESDAY NIGHT I was running errands after a long day at work, and I needed something at the vitamin store. I’d been reaching out to the greeter there, but didn’t feel up to a conversation. When I told God, “I got nothin’,” He reminded me that He had everything. I pulled into the parking lot, half hoping the man wouldn’t be working. But he was. I greeted him by name and went on with my shopping—praying about what to say. After paying for my items, I told him I’d been praying for him and shared a verse with Him. He opened up, and we talked for an hour about his beliefs and mine. We were worlds apart, but face to face in a cordial conversation. He said, “You’re the first person who’s ever taken the time to listen to what I believe.”
THANKSGIVING DAY, between church and a family gathering, my husband and I stopped for gas. I went into the convenience store carrying a hand-made card with a verse and a five dollar bill tucked inside. As I paid for my protein bar, I said to the cashier, “I appreciate you working on Thanksgiving and wanted to give you this card.” His face lit up and he said, “Thank you so much!” He stretched out his hand to shake mine, and kept saying, “Thank you so much.” I asked his name and told him that God loves him and sees his hard work. The nameless, faceless young man was “Collin,” a precious human being who came to life when he experienced a touch of God’s love.
LATER THAT DAY we stopped at a restaurant where I meet monthly with a group of women to pray for our husbands and their small businesses. We often have the same waitress, who cheerfully tolerates our extended stays. The last time we were there, I told her why we meet, and she said, “I knew you ladies were up to something. That’s so cool!” The restaurant was mobbed on Thanksgiving Day, but before long I spotted her wielding an armload of plates. She greeted me with her typical, “Hey, sweetheart!” I gave her a card with some cash, a verse, and a few simple words – “This is a small token of our appreciation… but God’s love for you is no small thing…” She beamed and said, “You’ve made my day. Thank you!”
Even as ministry leaders, our 24/7 calling is to plant seeds of the gospel and make disciples. Engaging with people brings joy unspeakable into our lives, and the light of God’s truth into theirs.
So, during December—during this month of celebrating the birth of Jesus that has brought light and love and salvation and divine, eternal relationship into our lives—let’s share Him! Let’s share His love and truth! Let’s pray about ways to reach out of our comfort zones and into the lives of others. Jesus did it for us—He left the comfort of heaven to love on us. Let’s leave our comfort zones and love on others.
This new Christmas song, The Call of Christmas, by Zach Williams captures it well.
What are ways you plan to reach out to others this Christmas? Feel free to share your ideas in the Comment Section below.