Adapted from Family Worship for the Christmas Season by Ray Rhodes. To order click here and send us a message.
Do you have a vision for Christmas? Do you often find that your expectations for the Christmas season fall short? Do you find yourself frustrated by the time Christmas Day rolls around? Perhaps it is time for you to reconsider your Christmas vision.
Christmas is about much more than your family and is much larger than your living room. The vision of Christmas stretches from before time and beyond time. The Bible speaks of the ". . . hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began" (Titus 1:2). The birth of Jesus was planned before the world was created. God's plan of redemption was orchestrated "before time began." The Bible teaches that the salvation of God's people will bring Him glory in "the ages to come" (Ephesians 2:7).
When God sent His Son into the world it was the outworking of His plan that began before time and that continues into eternity. God's love for the world is amazing and was most wonderfully demonstrated in the sending of Jesus (John 3:16).
This is what we are embracing afresh at Christmas. Our vision of Christmas must look back to eternity past, forward to eternity future, and embrace a large vision for missions to the entire world. That is what motivated Paul to say, "Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they may also obtain the salvation, which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory" (2 Timothy 2:10).
Making it Practical
Do an Internet search for Christmas customs around the world. Write down some of the more interesting traditions of people from a variety of cultural backgrounds. Mark the places on a world map and pray that the people of that region would hear and believe the gospel of Jesus Christ. Find out about missionaries who are serving in those areas and pray for them by name. When it is possible (and acceptable with security concerns) write a letter of encouragement to them. Put a collection box near your Christmas tree that will be used to collect coins for mission's giving.
Our Father in Heaven, I pray that your character would be recognized as great throughout the world. Please encourage and enable Your missionaries in their work. Please help our family and church to be faithful to share Christ during the Christmas season and always.
Scripture references from the New King James version.