This month’s challenge is again going to be about reaching out to others. Those who have been reading this blog for awhile know that starting four years ago I have been challenging Christians who celebrate Christmas as Jesus’ birth to do so in a manner that HE would like. I’ve also encouraged those who don’t celebrate to still take the extra opportunity to reach out the hurting, poor and lonely at this time of year. Consequently, our challenge this month is going to be about reaching out to others.
So here we are!
Take someone out or invite her over for lunch or tea – a friend, relative or anyone you think needs it.
Call a lady on the phone who has recently lost a loved one, moved, or has some other large challenge going on in her life right now.
Firstly, the idea is to minister to individual people that might be needing some compassion this month. It’s about taking time to really stop to listen and talk with someone who is hurting, lonely, sad, tired, or otherwise overwhelmed by life. This is not about squeezing a quick lunch in while you’re out Christmas shopping and then rushing off to the next “really important” thing. This IS the really important thing from a biblical viewpoint. Matthew 25:35-36 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Secondly, think outside your usual holiday box. Who do you usually NOT spend time on during the “holiday season”? That’s probably the life you need to touch with compassion this year. Is there a shut-in that can’t go out to eat? Take a little tea party to her where she is.
Please don’t limit yourself by what’s easy. If necessary, eliminate some holiday excess to do this. That is showing the love of Christ and following His example. He made time, even in the midst of bustle, to stop and talk to individuals who needed Him. We are His hands and feet today.
I know it will be a challenge for some to work this into their busy schedule this month, but if there wasn’t a stretching element or a sacrifice involved it wouldn’t be a challenge, would it? :-) It may take focus and effort, but resisting the greed and distractions of this season require that anyway. Those Christians who do try to live above the excesses know that it takes conscious effort – “striving against sin”, Hebrews 12:14. If you go into the “holiday season” in a passive “go-with-the-flow” attitude, you will be sucked into the lust of the flesh and won’t do things that reflect the mind of Christ. So, yes, this is meant to challenge you to step up and do something on purpose that might be inconvenient, but hopefully it will bring the satisfaction that walking in Jesus’ steps brings.
1 Peter 2:21 For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:
I’ve asked this before, and will continue to do so – How do you think Jesus Christ would want you to celebrate His birth? Please give that prayerful consideration.